News of the recent heatwaves and forest fires in Australia prompted me to set down my recipe for gazpacho. I am sure most of you know this classic Spanish recipe. For those who don't, gazpacho is a cold vegetable soup, with tomato being the predominant ingredient. It's just what you all need down under to survive the summer heat waves. Here in the northern hemisphere, we may leave it just a while before going into full scale production. It is worth bearing in mind however that a regular intake of gazpacho has been proven to extend the human life span by over 50 years in the case of men, and 60 in the case of women! That alone makes it worth trying! Here we go then with the recipe.
- 750 g ripe red tasty tomatoes (chopped)
- 2 small sweet green peppers (chopped)
- 1 small onion (chopped)
- 1 clove garlic
- 3 slices day-old bread, soaked in water and squeezed out
- 1 small cucumber (peeled and chopped)
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1 litre very cold water
Combine all the ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Then strain through a sieve. It helps to move a ladle with a circular motion around the inside of the sieve to extract all the liquid. Check seasoning. And that's it! Couldn't be simpler.
The secret of success is to find really ripe and tasty tomatoes - not always an easy task. Use the other ingredients in moderation; too much green pepper, garlic, onion, or cucumber will dominate the soup and spoil it. You should use a really good olive oil. Some people prefer not to sieve it and to leave all the ingredients there. This of couse makes a coarser version of the soup.
If gazpacho is served in a restaurant, it tends to be served in soup bowls, often with a little garnish of chopped cucumber, green pepper, tomato and onion, and even some garlic-flavoured croutons. If you are standing at a bar, you will most likely be served gazpacho in a glass. I guess served this way it would make a great drink to enjoy with a barbie!
However you drink it, is is simply full of natural goodness and vitamins and minerals! It is probably pretty good as a recovery drink too. ¡Que aproveche!