The daddy of all cold soups: the one everyone thinks of when they first say 'Oh no, not cold soup!'.
Gazpacho started out as a peasant dish eaten by Spanish muleteers who made it in earthenware dishes that were left out, covered in a wet cloth, in the midday heat until the cloth was dry and the soup cooked by the beating sun. The original recipe was chunkier than most people have it today and also included stale bread – there are salads made with stale bread, vinegar, oil and vegetables dating back to ancient Roman cuisine, incidentally.
So none of that lala liquidising stuff here, thank you very much. Try it this way, instead: the way it’s meant to be made. And if you do whiz it, don’t strain it. Please.
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- 3 plum tomatoes, skinned, deseeded & finely diced
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 1 red pepper, finely diced
- 1 cucumber, peeled, deseeded & finely diced
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp wine vinegar
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper
- 2 slices bread
- 2 tbsp olive oil
Mix the vegetables together in a roomy bowl and drizzle over the olive oil, vinegar salt and pepper. Give it all a good stir up, add the water and then refrigerate (if you’re going to whiz it, best do it now) overnight.
A short while before serving, dice the bread slices and mix well in a bowl with the olive oil and a mixture of dried herbs (or, better, finely chopped fresh ones) such as basil, thyme, marjoram etc. Add a generous whack of salt (about ½ tsp) and then fry up the croutons in a roomy, dry frying pan, stirring so that they brown evenly.
Serve the chilled soup with a little pile of warm croutons in the middle of each dish.