The king of summer soups and a great way to use up leftovers
Gazpacho’s the perfect way to use up slightly overripe tomatoes. This is a very loose recipe just to get you started. It’s a perfect dish to make with kids since it’s so quick and wonderfully nutritious too. I used to skin the tomatoes (as so many recipes require you to) but if you have a good blender there really is no need.
About 600g ripe tomatoes
½ cucumber (if using a thicker-skinned continental variety, peeled)
1 red pepper, core and stalk removed
1 spring onion or a little sweet Spanish onion to taste
1-2 cloves garlic
100ml extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp sherry vinegar or wine vinegar
Chop the vegetables roughly, crush the garlic and blitz them in a blender or food processor. You may need to do this in stages and add a little of the olive oil to set things going.
Once the puree is really smooth, pour it into a large jug and add the remaining olive oil, vinegar and salt to taste. You may also need to add a little water if the soup seems too thick—remember if you are adding ice, this will thin the soup down.
Now chill the soup until ready to serve. Add ice if you like. Garnishes work well if you are serving in a bowl rather than sloshing back from a glass: chopped peppers, diced boiled egg, sliced spring onion, tiny squares of serrano ham.
ALTERNATIVE: Slightly stale bread is perfect for making crunchy croutons for the top of the soup or, if you prefer a thicker soup, you can remove crusts and soak a slice in a little water before throwing into the blender with the rest of the soup.
Roasted beetroot can be added instead of some of the tomatoes—I like to go ⅓ beetroot to ⅔ tomato.
Leftover gazpacho can be made into fantastic little savoury jellies. Set with sheet gelatine—just dissolve the sheets in a little hot water before stirring into the soup. Check your leaf gelatine for setting ratios.
Recipe: Jenny Chandler