Gazpacho Soup Recipe.
Summer soups are delicious and easy to make, Gazpacho is one of my favourites.
Gazpacho is like summer in a cup, or a bowl or a shot glass depending on your dinner or lunch plans. It’s also a great cocktail party option and absolute perfection at a long table lunch in the heat of summer as our dinner guests experienced this year during the European summer.
“This is a recipe I created in France this summer and I trialled it on our 20 guests who joined us for what has become an annual long table celebration at our Charente farmhouse. I’ve been meaning to publish this recipe since returning to Sydney at the end of August and here it is in time for the Australian Summer.”
I had some great feedback from our guests on that sunny day in the Charente farming region which helped me to make some tweaks on what is effectively a very simple recipe that is best prepared following these three simple rules:
- Only make Gazpacho when tomatoes are in season and are ripe and tasty. You can usually get a sense of the taste by simply smelling the tomatoes – for this recipe I sourced the tomatoes from Harris Farm, Potts Point who always have superb Australian grow quality fruit and vegetables. If I miss our local organic markets on Saturday, Harris Farm is my go-to-place
- Use quality products – look for a decent red wine vinegar and olive oil. Feel free to message me if you need help deciding. As Gazpacho is all about raw ingredients, every element must be carefully considered
- Allow the time to prepare the ingredients and also allow time for the ingredients to marry together and settle before blending, at least three hours or overnight if time allows.
“So, why do I love this moorish and beautifully textured lake of wholesomeness so very much?”
Originating from the southern Spanish region of Andalusia, Gazpacho is widely eaten in Spain and neighbouring Portugal. The first time I tasted Gazpacho was actually miles away from its origin. It was 2001 and I was staying in South Beach Miami and was lured into a traditional Spanish restaurant just off Washington Avenue. A la carte was not an option on this humid Saturday evening in Florida, it was a set menu consisting of Gazpacho, Meatballs and ‘Torta de Santiago’ (almond cake). For around USD$9.00 who can complain right?
It remember thinking it was quite an authentic evening, not that I had anything else to compare it to back then, but the food was sumptuous, simple and presented proudly by the Spanish restauranteur. It turned out that his wife was the cook, and what a cook she was. This little family restaurant was like taking a trip to Spain in the heart of South Beach. Authentic, fun and flavours only the Spanish know how to create.
I never did secure their moorish Gazpacho Soup recipe, but I have created my own that is tried, tested and loved by those who have tasted it. With summer well and truly upon us in Australia, here is my gift to you. Gazpacho Soup.
As always I would love to hear from you, please leave a comment below or follow my stories on Instagram and Facebook.
What you’ll need:
1 large Lebanese cucumber, peeled, deseeded and diced (keep the peelings and slice very finely and set aside to garnish your soup when serving)
1 red capsicum, deseeded and diced
1 green capsicum, deseeded and diced
1kg ripe truss tomatoes, cored and diced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed, and roughly chopped
1 very small red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
2 medium sized spring onion bulbs (salad onion in Australia) chopped
80g – 90g white day old bread (I prefer a day old crusty baguette) broken into small pieces
3 tbsp red wine vinegar, with some on the side in case it needs a little kick after you’ve prepared it
Juice from half a lime
Salt and pepper (I prefer a good quality sea salt)
Finely sliced basil, toasted pine nuts to garnish (see note below).
- Combine the cucumber, capsicums, garlic, spring onions and truss tomatoes in a bowl. Add the bread and season with milled pepper and salt (be careful not to over salt, you can always adjust later)
- Drizzle the red wine vinegar over the mixture along with 2 – 3 tbsp of XV olive oil. Use your hands to combine the ingredients well, cover and set aside in the refrigerator for at least 90 minutes. You can leave in overnight also if time permits
- Transfer the mixture into your blender and process until smooth. If the consistency is too thick, add another tbsp or two of XV olive oil and continue to blend. You may at this point wish to adjust the seasoning by correcting the salt and pepper and red wine vinegar
- Cover and return to the refrigerator and chill until very cold
- If you are serving your Gazpacho with bread or crutons, brush your slices of bread with XV olive oil, and if you love garlic, gently rub a glove across the bread to infuse the flavour. BBQ or grill the bread until glossy and toasty on each side. If you’re making crutons, dice the bread into 1cm cubes before grilling. You can also pan fry the bread or croutons or serve the soup with fresh bread.
Serving Gazpacho can be a lot of fun, you will need:
- Milled pepper
- Finely chopped basil
- Toasted pinenuts
- XV olive oil
- Crushed ice if you use a Gazpacho serving kit, or have a serving bowl that can sit comfortably over a vessel of ice cubes. By doing this you can continue to stir your Gazpacho in the bowl, in turn keeping it cool as you serve your hungry guests.
Serves 4 good sized portions or 18-20 petite portions for a cocktail party.
I would love to hear from you. Please leave a comment below.
As always, Bon Appétit, Mike X