Us Brits have long been suspicious of chilled soups – they seem unnatural somehow, in a climate more suited to tartan vacuum flasks and steaming broths. But just as we’ve taken tapas to our hearts and embraced the pungent joys of goat’s cheese and garlic, we’ve grudgingly come to see the virtues of a cool, liquid lunch in our occasional warm spells.
The gazpacho is a classic of the genre: refreshing, and full of ripe, summery flavours.
2 lbs Ripe Heirloom Tomatoes (also called heritage tomato in the UK)
1-Cup Bread Crumbs
1 ½ Cups Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Cloves Garlic
6 Tbsp Spanish Sherry Vinegar
2 Tbsp Kosher Salt (Koshering Salt in UK)
1 Red Pepper
2 Basil Leaves
1/2 Tbsp Finely Chopped Chives
1 Baguette-bread is an absolute must!
- Preheat broiler or grill. Cook the whole peppers over high heat until they have blackened spots and blisters and are tender.
- Place the peppers into a brown paper bag and roll up the top to seal to steam the peppers. Set aside until the peppers cool.
- When the peppers are cool, remove the skins. Slice the peppers open and scrape out the cores and seeds. Rinse under water quickly and dry well with paper towels. Cut into a fine julienne or small strips.
- Core and roughly chop the tomatoes and place in the blender with the garlic and ¾ cup olive oil.
- Start a blender on low speed and roughly blend the tomatoes, then slowly add the rest of the Olive Oil and the Sherry Vinegar.
- Turn up the blender to a medium speed.
- When the tomatoes have reached a smooth consistency, slowly add the breadcrumbs and continue to puree until smooth again.
- Strain the tomatoes through the strainer pressing the soup through with the ladle to remove the seeds and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Place in refrigerator until chilled.
- Slice the baguette into small slices across the width on the bread. Drizzle with olive oil and toast in oven until golden brown.
- Season to taste.
- Finely slice the basil and mix with the chives and roasted red peppers. Garnish the crouton with a small amount of the red pepper salad.
- Serve the chilled soup in small bowls. Place the crouton on top of the soup.
An alternative presentation of the dish