Summer to me means vacation from school, lots of catching up with the house... and gazpacho. I could live solely on the stuff (with a bit of bread, mind you) all season long. This morning it was finally warm, breezy and definitely summery; so I headed out to the farmer's market and came back with nice ripe tomatoes to make my soup.
Gazpacho is one of those traditional dishes that each family does its own way. Some people like it thicker, others prefer it watery; garlicky, vinegarey... But the basic ingredients are the same (there are some regional variations, though, this is the Andalusian way), and then it is up to you to tweak it to your taste.
Another thing remains true: gazpacho is a cold soup, you can have it with a spoon or drink it out of a glass, but it is NOT a chunky, salsa-like dish that you almost need a fork to deal with (sorry, I have learned not to order it around here, but it took quite a few frustrating and bewildering encounters with spicy!, chunky stuff before I gave up).
- 3lb ripe tomatoes
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1/2 large cucumber
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 Tbsp sherry vinegar
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Throw it all in your blender and blend the hell out of it until you have a creamy, smooth soup. Depending on what tomatoes you are using, it will be more or less watery (large ones like beefsteak or big boy have more water than plum, for example). If you don't want it so creamy, add a bit of water to get the consistency that you want, but you may need to add a bit of salt and vinegar so that it doesn't come out bland.
Chill and serve! You can dice some pepper, cucumber and even a little serrano ham to sprinkle on top.