Gazpacho is a cold tomato-based soup made with bread and raw vegetables. Originating in Andalusia (southern Spain) gazpacho is consumed all over Spain, Portugal and parts of Latin America. It is especially popular and refreshing during the summer months. Here is how Victoria puts her dish together:
INGREDIENTS (serves 8 – 12)
-2 pounds heirloom “beef steak” tomatoes (though not essential these dark almost purple heirlooms have the best flavor and consistency for our gazpacho. You can also use early girls but seek out ones that do not have overly thick skin), coarsely chopped
-2 pounds cucumbers, peeled and chopped into 2 inch pieces
-1.5 pounds red gypsy peppers (these are sweet red peppers that have the same shape as a large carrot. If you cannot find the red Gypsy peppers then use standard red bell peppers), seeded and cut into chunks
-1/2 red onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
-1 clove whole garlic, peeled
-1/2 baguette, chopped into small 1 inch pieces
-Best quality extra virgin olive oil for finishing
-Best quality Spanish sherry vinegar
In a large blender or food processor assemble all of the ingredients and blend until well-mixed (20-30 seconds). Add 2 tablespoons of salt. Add 1/2 cup water. Add 1 tablespoon of sherry vinegar. Blend for 20 seconds. Taste and adjust seasoning accordingly. Serve immediately in small bowls, garnish with croutons and a drizzle of olive oil. Or refrigerate for up to one day and serve very cold.
FOR THE CROUTONS
Heat your oven to 250 degrees. Place your bread “croutons” onto a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Allow to stay in oven until nicely dry but not toasted, 15 minutes. Remove and set aside.