by Jay del Corro
Gazpacho is a refreshing tomato soup that is served ice cold during the hot summer months. It comes from southern Spain in the region of Andalucia and is enjoyed everywhere, including right here in North America. In my recipe, I’m taking some of the old-school Spanish technique by incorporating some day old bread in the base of my soup. I’m also going to use a little Mexican trick of lightly charring my tomatoes and bell pepper to get a nice roasted flavour as well. We got some plump ripe produce here just waiting to be enjoyed, so keep watching as we get started right here on The Aimless Cook.
You will need:
- 2 lb fresh ripe tomatoes
- 1 red bell pepper
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 cup leftover bread
- 1 chili pepper
- ½ cup fresh basil
- 3-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1-2 tablespoons sherry vinegar*
- salt and pepper, to taste
- finely diced shallot
- finely diced cucumber, seeded
- Mexican crema*
- extra virgin olive oil
Start by heating up a dry cast iron skillet on high heat. In batches, add the tomatoes and a cut up red bell pepper, skin side down. What you want to do is char the skin all over til parts are blackened. This is going to give us a nice roasted flavour. When the tomatoes and pepper are done, simply put into a large bowl and set aside.
In another bowl, tear up the bread and soak with a splash of water and some white wine if you have it. Mix well until all the bread has soaked up the liquid then set aside.
In a food processor, add the tomatoes and bell pepper, the bread, garlic, basil with 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and pulse until everything is well-blended. After that, pop off the lid and give it a taste. Add a touch of acidity with 1-2 tablespoons of sherry vinegar. Pulse and taste again. Season with salt and pepper to til you get the flavours perfect.
Once your gazpacho is perfecto, put it into a large container and refrigerate until chilled.
Ladle into bowls and garnish with diced shallot and cucumber. Drizzle in some extra virgin olive oil and crema to serve. Enjoy!
*notes: If you don’t have the Mexican crema, you can make a home version by mixing some sour cream with heavy cream. You can serve this as an amuse-bouche by putting into shot glasses. It looks cool and you can layer the crema and gazpacho for fun. Top with a paper thin slice of toasted French Bread. Be creative and have fun.
What is your signature summer dish?