As promised (by my darling husband) here is the recipe I have used for years for an authentic Spanish Andalusian Gazpacho. Mike proclaimed it difficult, which it really isn’t. Time consuming and in parts a pain in the keester, but not difficult. In the summer, when the tomatoes are at their peak, I use fresh tomatoes, but otherwise, the canned diced ones, particularly the fire roasted ones that are now available everywhere, are a tastier option.
Authentic Gazpacho Andaluz
For the Soup Base
3 pounds of ripe, red Roma or plum tomatoes, stemmed and quartered
(or 3 (14-ounce) cans of diced fire roasted tomatoes, drained)
1/2 large red bell pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped
1/4 large green bell pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped
1/2 large English (seedless) cucumber, cut into large chunks
1 clove finely chopped or pressed garlic
1 ounce lemon juice
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (preferably Spanish)
1/3 cup sherry vinegar (not cooking sherry, sherry wine vinegar)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
1. Place all ingredients into a blender or food processor and pulse to chop, then process until pretty smooth. You may have to do this in two batches depending on the size of your machine.
2. Refrigerate for at least 5 hours. Overnight is fine, too.
3. Remove from refrigerator and press the soup through a medium mesh sieve into a large bowl, using the back of a wooden spoon to extract every luscious drop from the pulp. Discard the pulp.
4. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding a bit more salt, pepper, or vinegar as desired.
5. Return the soup base to the refrigerator until ready to serve.
For the garnish
1 large red tomato, peeled, seeded, and diced small
1/2 large red bell pepper, seeded and diced small
1/2 large English (seedless) cucumber, peeled and diced small
1/2 red onion, peeled and diced small
1. Prepare the garnish vegetables, keeping each type separate, and refrigerate until serving.
2. Place a pile of each of the garnish vegetable onto a serving plate or tray to pass.
At serving time
1. Ladle about a cup of the gazpacho base into each bowl.
2. Pass the garnish tray to let each guest load up their soup as they’d like.
That’s the way we do it at Casa Eades, though there are many other also traditional garnishing options that we noted on our Spanish travels through Andalusia, such as tiny croutons, chopped up hard-boiled egg, fresh kernels of corn. Personally I don’t need anything but the fresh, cool, crunchy veggies we always use. On occasion, when I haven’t had enough cans of tomatoes, or the fresh ones didn’t have enough flavor and acidity, I have spiked it with organic V8 juice to perk up the tomato-y essence of it.
No matter how you make it, gazpacho Andaluz is the perfect low carb soup: piquant, refreshing, flavorful, and filled with lycopenes, antioxidants, and other phytochemicals.