My first Gazpacho was in Spain. We got served this goodness in 1 star Michelin rated restaurant Las Rejas Restaurante in Cuenca, La Mancha. As everything else in this super special place, it got served in a tiny glasses (like a shot) and to be honest, I didn’t even know what it was. But I drank it and it was superb!
Trying not to draw any attention to the fact that I had no clue, I learned later from one of my smarter colleagues that this was, in fact, a gazpacho. I remember that name ever since. And now, ever since the warm season starts, I keep asking about it in my favorite Spanish restaurant Costa del Sol in Hartford, CT.
I would never dream of cold soup. I know there are many recipes for different cold summer soups – it just never appealed to me. Until I tried gazpacho.
Last time I bought 3 portions in the restaurant to take out with me. I was also chatting with the chef Javier, tricking him into giving me the recipe. He gave me some hints. I kept guessing what was in it, he kind of confirmed it. Good enough. I have just tried to make my first gazpacho at home and I am very pleased with the result.
Tasting it side by side with the restaurant’s version, mine is slightly different (I guess that depends on what kind of veggies one uses and in what ratio). But it is gazpacho, and I will gladly share it with you! Is it authentic?
I have no idea! You may have seen better recipes out there, but this one is mine and I am sticking to it (because it tasted really good). Did it taste to my liking? Oh, yeah! As Javier said: “Spaniards keep gazpacho in the fridge and snack on it all day long – it’s like Spanish Bloody Mary, only without the alcohol.”
1 large garden tomato
3 Kumato tomatoes (just because I love the rich flavor)
1 yellow bell pepper
1 red bell pepper
3 cloves of garlic
1/4 of large red onion
1 cup of tomato juice
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup of good quality sherry vinegar
juice from 1 lime
2-3 tablespoons of good quality olive oil
salt and pepper
Have colander ready with a dish underneath to catch all the precious juices.
Peel cucumber and cut lengthwise, removing the soft, seed part. Seed part with all the juices goes into colander. Chop the cucumber and add to the blender.
Cut the top of the tomatoes, remove the seed’s part to the colander. Add tomatoes to the blender. Clean and seed peppers, chop and add to the blender.
Add garlic, onion, squeeze lime into the mix, add tomato juice, sherry vinegar and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Add whole cilantro to the mix and turn on the blender. Don’t forget to add all the juices you got from the removed parts of tomatoes under your colander.
I first used “blend – puree” button on my blender, and when all the veggies were blended, I switched to “liquefy-whip” function. Let the blender running for a few minutes to get a fine, delicate puree.
They are adding a little bread to the blender in the restaurant, to get more body to their gazpacho. I tried mine without bread and it was just fine. It’s up to you. Taste it and season a little more, if desired. I kept adding vinegar because it was lacking the acidity to my taste.
Gazpacho can be kept in refrigerator for a week. It is served chilled, with just a splash of quality extra virgin olive oil and a piece of cilantro. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!