This cold soup from Spain is the perfect use for ripe summer tomatoes. The variety of tomato is not so important, but they better be ripe and juicy! Advance prep time is required to soak the bread and chill and meld the flavors of the soup. It will taste even better the next day.
If you would like to freeze gazpacho to enjoy after tomato season, just eliminate the bread. Defrost the soup, soak the bread in it till soft, then re-blend with additional olive oil and vinegar to taste.
Suggested wine pairings
Rose of Pinot Noir
younger Pinot Noirs, 2017 and on.
• 2 pounds ripe tomatoes, remove stem, core and extra seeds
• 1 small (1/2 lb) cucumber, peel skin and remove seeds
• 1 medium green bell pepper, remove core and seeds
• 2 garlic cloves, peeled (or to taste)
• ¼ small red onion diced (optional)
• 3 tablespoons olive oil
• 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
• 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
• 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
• 1 thick slice of white bread (great use for stale bread!)
• Garnish as desired with finely diced onion, homemade croutons, chopped fresh herbs, a drizzle of olive oil, or any leftover finely diced gazpacho ingredients
Place your bread at the bottom of the large bowl and prep the tomatoes and cucumber over it, catching as much of the juices as possible. A sprinkle of salt will help to draw out the moisture. Let the bread soak in the juices for about an hour. You can add a splash of water if needed. Many Gazpacho recipes will tell you to soak the bread in water and then squeeze it out. I much prefer this method!
Next add the pre-soaked tomato, cucumber, and bread mixture to your blender along with the rest of the ingredients. Blend starting low until you achieve a smooth consistency. You can add a small amount of water if you’d like a thinner gazpacho. For the smoothest texture, you can strain the Gazpacho through a sieve, using a spoon to force it through. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking, but the true test will be after 3 – 24 hours of chilling in the refrigerator. Pour the soup into a covered, non-reactive container like a large glass jar and refrigerate for 3 – 24 hours.
Serve cold with or without garnishes: finely diced onion, homemade croutons, chopped fresh herbs, a drizzle of olive oil, or any leftover finely diced gazpacho ingredients.