A classic Spanish summer dish of flavour-packed tomatoes and sherry vinegar
The best gazpachos have several characteristics in common: they are made with seasonal tomatoes that are packed with flavour, they are served super-cold, and they use a really good sherry vinegar (such as the Valdespino at Brindisa), which helps draw the flavour from the tomatoes, cucumber and pepper. Serve with the sherry vinegar bottle on the table too, so that people can add that all-important finishing touch of flavour and balance. I like my gazpacho quite thick, so that is how this comes—thin it down with water, if you prefer. There is no need to skin the tomatoes as they will be blended and strained before serving.
1kg very ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
1 green pepper, deseeded and chopped
80g slightly stale white or brown bread, torn into pieces
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
3 tbsp sherry vinegar, plus extra to taste
125ml extra virgin olive oil
For the garnish (optional):
Chopped hard-boiled egg
Chopped spring onion
Place the tomatoes in a large bowl with the cucumber, green pepper, bread pieces, garlic, sherry vinegar and half of the oil.
Add a good pinch of salt, mix to combine, cover and chill for 2 hours.
Transfer to a blender and blend it all together, adding the rest of the olive oil. Season and strain into a bowl through a fine sieve, pushing with a spoon to get as much through as you can. Taste for seasoning—remember that chilling dulls the seasoning slightly—and take a look at the resulting soup. If it is too thick for your liking, thin it down with some water.
Chill until needed, then serve in small bowls or cups with a drizzle of sherry vinegar on top and your choice of garnishes, arranged on the table for each person to help themselves to.
Recipe: Angela Clutton
Images: Kim Lightbody