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Break Fast Tapas: Gazpacho

When I went to Spain in July, I ate gazpacho every day. In hot climes, there's nothing more refreshing for lunch. In Spain they don't serve the chunky salsa-style we typically see here. They blend it until it reaches a … Read More

By / September 19, 2007
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When I went to Spain in July, I ate gazpacho every day. In hot climes, there's nothing more refreshing for lunch. In Spain they don't serve the chunky salsa-style we typically see here. They blend it until it reaches a creamy orange color. Sometimes it's served as a drink in a big glass goblet. Sometimes it's thicker and richly flavored, meant as a dip for tortilla espanola. Sometimes it's thin and light, served as a drink in a big glass goblet. It's so easy to make the authentic varieties and you really don't have to follow a recipe. You pretty much just toss a bunch of veggies in a blender with some olive oil and stale bread crumbs. I love the thick kind, so here's how I do it:

First you'll need a chunk of stale bread. I like ciabatta. How much? Well that depends on you. If you want a thick gazpacho to dip your tortilla in use more, if you want it soupier use less or none at all. Blend it until you have a fine crumb. Put the bread crumbs in a fine mesh strainer and rinse under a faucet. After a good shower, mush them into the strainer, squeezing the excess water out like a sponge. Return the mush to the blender.

You can get creative with your veggies. I add half a yellow onion, about 3 medium vine-ripened tomatoes cut into chunks, a half a bell pepper (preferably red, but any color should do), and garlic to taste. You could add a cucumber if you had that lying around, which would make a thinner soup.

Season to taste with salt and fresh ground black pepper, perhaps a dash of cumin. Add a tablespoon or two of red wine vinegar and then drizzle in a few tablespoons of olive oil. Blend until smooth. Your gazpacho should taste light, a little frothy even. It should be orange, not red. If yours is red, you didn't add enough olive oil. So drizzle some more in and blend until it turns orange. When you've got your seasonings right, pop it in the fridge. Serve very cold.

If you're so inclined garnish with tuna, hard boiled egg, and/or ham (that's how they do it in Spain–it works surprisingly well), or a drizzle of olive oil.

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