Sunday, 9 June 2013

Soup Sunday: gazpacho

Though wonderfully versatile and satisfying, soups aren't really cut out for picnics. Unless they're chilled soups such as gazpacho. In the throes of heatwave it is that desperately needed breath of fresh air. Some recipes add bread to this (like they do with salmorejo) , but I prefer the lightness of the bread-free version. The Man Upstairs feels as strongly about the idea of cucumber in gazpacho as Saudi Arabia feels about the idea of a female president. I on the other hand quite like the lightness it brings to the soup.

Like revenge, this is a dish best served cold, so you might want to do this hours ahead, even the day before. The flavours concentrate too, the longer it sits, which is why you should go easy on the onions - that often develops rather aggressive notes. For the same reason you shouldn't keep this around for too long.

I added some tomato paste to deepen the colour and tomatoyness of the soup. Another alternative would be to roast the tomatos first in the oven, in which case you'll need more liquid - either water or tomato juice. If, for some reason you want to make this without oil and vinegar, I also recommend you use tomato juice (instead of water) for liquid. Pepper, too, could be roasted. It adds depth to the soup but also makes the pepper so much sweeter.

Traditionally gazpacho is served as a starter in which case this is enough for 4. As part of a tapas feast this could also be served in smaller, shot-size glasses in which case this recipe yields approximately 10 portions.

1/2 cucumber (appr. 175 g)
1/2 smallish onion (appr. 40 g)
2 garlic cloves
1/2 a pepper (mine was red) , appr. 120 g
6 tomatos (appr. 690 g)
0,5 dl olive oil
1-2 tbsp sherry vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
2 tbsp tomato concentrate (+a dash of sugar)
salt, pepper

Roughly chop the veggies, dump into a blender and blizz to desired consistency (like with women some like it a bit rougher, some prefer it all smooth and lump-free!) Add oil, vinegar, tomato concentrate, sugar, salt and pepper. Chill thoroughly in the cold. Check the taste before serving and add more vinegar, oil or salt if needed.

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