Okay, so I hear you say, “Gazpacho is tomato soup served with ice cubes,” right? Well, yes and no. True, if you go to a restaurant you will most likely find a gazpacho made of tomatoes and onions. If you are lucky, it will also have cucumber and garlic, all pureed into a soup and served chilled. However, that is not what Andalusian gazpacho is about.
Gazpacho originates in stale bread and olive oil. Yes, that’s true. Yet we’re not sure if comes from the Romans or the Moors. One thing we do know is that people have been eating all versions of bread and olive soup in the Mediterranean since the beginning of time. And these days you will find gazpacho in many flavors, even a white one made of almonds and grapes.
Here is a bit of history. Today we want tasty food that doesn’t harm animals and that is healthy for us. Vegetables alone are not optimal for your body. As an example, your body needs fat in order to break down and make use of fat-soluble vitamins. In order to get a full healthy meal, it’s essential to add fat to your veggies. I have tasted gazpacho without oil, and in all honesty, I didn’t like the watered down version. I have spent too much time in the Mediterranean to accept this as delicious. This version is a creamy, smooth and olive oil flavored version from Andalusia.
Tomatoes: in the summer I stay in Finland and the tomatoes are not bad but you rarely see really ripe ones. Once I tried to make a gazpacho with not so ripe tomatoes, and the taste was not that good, a far from perfect gazpacho. So, ripe tomatoes are a must.
Salt: the reason it is important to add salt to the veggies is so we get the most juice/water out of them (short version).
Oil: The recipe calls for olive oil, you can also use walnut or avocado oil, both are healthy and have great taste. Please do not leave out the oil for slimming purposes, I promise this fat will be used by your body; digestion system and brains as a minimum.
You will need approximately 2 hours to make this. When it is done it can be stored in the fridge for 3 days, provided it is in an airtight container.
4 large very ripe tomatoes, cored and cut into rough 1-inch / 2.5 cm chunks
1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cut into rough 1-inch / 2.5 cm chunks
1 small small red onion, peeled and cut into rough 1-inch / 2.5 cm chunks
1 medium bell pepper (color to your taste), cored, seeded, and cut into rough 1-inch / 2.5 cm chunks
2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1-1/2 teaspoons Himalayan salt, plus more to taste
2 slices white sandwich bread, crusts removed, torn into rough 1-inch / 2.5 cm pieces
1 cup / 2.3 dl extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar, plus more for serving
2 tablespoons finely minced chives
Freshly ground black pepper
Put tomatoes, cucumber, onion, pepper, garlic, and salt in a large bowl and toss to coat thoroughly. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Drain juices into a large bowl and add the bread. Put the drained vegetables to a baking sheet with a rim and place in freezer until vegetables are frozen, approximately 30 minute.
Take vegetables out of the freezer and allow to sit at room temperature until mostly thawed, again approximately 30 minutes. Put vegetables and all their juices in the bowl with soaked bread.
Working in two batches as necessary, blend vegetables, juice, and bread at high speed, slowly drizzling olive oil and sherry vinegar into blender as it blends. Strain soup through a fine mesh strainer into a large bowl. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
Serve, drizzling each bowl with olive oil, a few sprinkles of sherry vinegar, extra cracked black pepper, and chives.
Gazpacho can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Even in this hot weather we are having here, I sometimes crave a bowl of soup. But it has to be light and simple.
This one is easy and delicious and does not come off winterish. Another good part about it is that you use the broccoli stem. If you are not used to do this, now is the time to be introduced to less food-waste on the broccoli part.