Gazpacho is one of Spain’s best known dishes. It comes from the hot and dry region of Andalusia and along with Ajo Banco, is a wildly popular cold soup from the region.
Not until sometime in the early 1500s, when the tomato from Mexico was first introduced into Spain, did the soup begin to develop into the same dish served throughout the world that we know today. What is clear, however, is that this began as a simple peasant dish to help feed the field workers of Andalusia.
Gazpacho is a summer dish and is best when highlighting the bounties of summer like tomatoes (of course), onions, peppers, and cucumbers.
Gazpacho Andaluz (Cold Tomato Soup)
- Food Processor or blender
- Mesh strainer
- 1½ lb Juiciest tomatoes possible, quartered (SUB: large can of good peeled tomatoes)
- 1 medium Green pepper, cored and chunked
- 1 small Sweet onion
- 2 small Cucumber, peeled and chunked
- 4 tbsp Red wine vinegar
- ¼ tsp Dried tarragon
- ½ tsp Sugar
- 1 clove Garlic, roughly chopped
- 1 cup Tomato juice
- 1 pinch Salt
- 1 cup Each: diced cucumber, green pepper, onion, and tomato (for garnish)
- 1 Package of small garlic croutons (optional)
- Place all the ingredients (except the vegetables diced for garnish and croutons) in the bowl of a food processor or blender. Blend until everything they are well processed. Strain into a bowl by pressing hard with a wooden spoon to extract as much liquid as possible. Add a bit more vinegar and salt and move to the refrigerator to chill, preferably overnight, to allow the flavors to blend.
- To serve, pour into a serving bowl and ladle into bowls at the table or fill bowls in kitchen before bringing out. Put diced vegetables for garnish and croutons in individual small bowls for guests to pass around to sprinkle atop their soup.
- If fresh tomatoes are not available, 24 oz can of ripe Roma tomatoes (like San Marzano) in their juices may be used.