Gazpacho in the park
Cold soup on a hot day is very pleasurable. With raw food at the height of culinary fashion this traditional Spanish dish is worth trying. It is also super versatile so you can just throw in your favourite vegetable and salad ingredients. I love Spain and Spanish food, more often than not though, I go for tapas or fresh fish when by the sea and until last week I had forgotten how good gazpacho can be.
My earliest memory of gazpacho is when a good friend came round and made it for me one summer (it may have passed my lips on an unforgettable school trip to Lloret de Mar but as food was not high on the agenda back then I can't quite remember). Tenille is a lover of Spain, she speaks the lingo and lived in Madrid for a while so knows her stuff and the soup that she dished up was delicious, so full of flavour and incredibly fresh - it basically tasted like salad ingredients blended together with a dressing and then chilled. I assure you this is good.
Anyway, this experience occured couple of summers ago.
2 years on (last weekend), Tenille called to say she was ill with a temperature so I thought I'd go round and return the favour by making gazpacho for her to chill her out - literally. I hope it worked T? Again I realised how much I loved the stuff and decided to make a batch this morning, the perfect accompaniment to the HOT weather.
Charlotte's gazpacho (serves 4)
2 garlic cloves
1/3 of an onion chopped (I used white onion)
1 small cucumber diced (I didn't peel it but perhaps should have done)
1 red pepper chopped into squares
5 medium tomatoes blanched and peeled, then roughly chopped
old bread, about 3-4 slices, no crusts and cut into cubes
wine vinegar (I used cider but white/red wine would work)
salt and pepper
Soak the bread in a little bit of water then place it in a mixing bowl with all the other prepared ingredients. Add some water, about 200ml, 3-4 big glugs of oil, 2 glugs on the vinegar and blend with a hand blender. Taste and season. A lot of Spanish recipes tell you to pass it through a sieve a couple of time so that it's super smooth so you can do this or eat it with a few bits. It tastes real good with toasted ciabatta with oil and salt on.
If you want to add or swap ingredients you could try avocado, asparagus, beans, spring onion - the gazpacho world is your oyster.
Serving suggestion: naked in the park.