I was avoiding making gazpacho mostly because I feared the tomatoes don’t taste like tomatoes anymore and the otherwise wonderful Spanish recipe for hot time would not taste as it should. But the vegetable market near our new home surprised me. Do I think Dora (the lady we buy most of vegetables from) sells organic tomatoes? They look like they are, but you forget thinking about it, once you’ve tasted them – they have a taste of sun and I just can’t get enough of them.
Talking about the rest of ingredients, they are just as accessible as tomatoes, and they are in season. But the biggest advantage of gazpacho is the fact that there is no slaving around the stove! And because it consumed cold, you can prepare larger quantities and keep in the fridge for few days (although we can never keep it for that long).
Because I did’t have red peppers, I used green, which I didn’t mix with the rest of ingredients, in order to have a nice, vivid color of my gazpacho. Thus I got a nice contrast between the even texture of the cold soup and crunchy pepper bits.
Depending on your preferences you can play with the quantities of some products.
800 гр. tomatoes, peeled
300 гр. cucumbers, peeled
2-3 mid-sized onions, peeled and finely chopped
3 sweet red peppers
2 garlic cloves, pressed
½ red hot pepper, no seeds
A handful of basil leaves
Pinch of sugar
Pinch or two of salt
4 tbsp of good quality olive oil
White balsamic vinegar (to the taste)
Freshly ground black pepper (optional)
Get a large bowl in which you can put and later blend all the vegetables. Put the peeled, seeded and chopped tomatoes in it. Add the salt and sugar. Put in the cucumbers, peppers, onions, garlic and stir well. Add the basil leaves, garlic and olive oil, stir again and leave aside for few minutes.
Blend all the ingredients until you get smooth texture or set aside some of the tomatoes, onions and peppers, and add them at the end, depending on the preferences. This dish has many variations, so don’t be afraid to experiment.
Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least an hour.
And two more tips:
– Do not skip the sugar – in dishes where tomatoes are used the sugar neutralises tomatoes’ acidity and helps to blend ingredients
– Be careful with the hot peppers! If it’s not enough you can always add more.