I’ve always been wary of gazpacho. Bad batches can end up tasting like salsa or tomato juice. Often, you have an urge to over spice it. Tomatoes, some mild veggies, a little bit of salt and vinegar – how could these ingredients be enough for a flavorful, satisfying soup? But if you start adding a little bit of heat or some extra garlic you begin to veer dangerously close to Bloody Mary sans vodka territory. No one wants a virgin Blood Mary. Lots of Americanized recipes list bread chunks or croutons in their ingredients, in order to add a little bit of thickness and texture. Or worse, they leave the soup chunky. This is called salsa. And while it’s better than a virgin Blood Mary, you don’t want to sip on salsa.
Every time I make gazpacho I get nervous. Nervous that the nice farmer’s market tomatoes I paid a pretty penny for are going to go to waste. I could easily whip together bruschetta or a simple tomato salad instead. Perfectly ripe, local tomatoes are a summertime gem! And they should not be wasted. I was relieved to find that this gazpacho recipe by Julia Moskin, is not a waste. Trust in this recipe. So long as you buy quality ingredients and follow the directions you will end up with a soup that is creamy, refreshing, and full-flavored. Use some heirloom beauties to give your soup a lovely hue.
- Roughly 2 lbs ripe tomatoes, cored and cut into chunks
- 1 cubanelle pepper (or another long, light green pepper), cored, seeded, and cut into chunks
- 1 cucumber, peeled and cut into chunks
- 1 small mild onion (red or white) peeled and cut into chunks
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 tsp sherry vinegar
- salt, to taste
- 1/2 cup olive oil + extra for drizzling
- Combine tomatoes, pepper, cucumber, onion, and garlic in a blender. You can also use an immersion/hand blender and do this is a deep bowl. Blend at high speed until very smooth, at least 2 minutes. Make sure to scrape down the sides as you blend.
- While blending, add the sherry vinegar and salt. Slowly drizzle in olive oil. The mixture should become emulsified, like a salad dressing. If the mixture still seems a little watery add more olive oil.
- Strain the mixture. You can do this through a food mill. We used a cheese cloth/colander combo, squeezing the mixture through a couple cheese clothes in batches. Throw out the solids. Transfer the mixture to a bowl or pitcher and refrigerate. It will taste best if you keep it in the fridge for at least 4-6 hours. Refrigerating in a metal container will cut the fridge time.
- When ready to enjoy, taste and adjust seasonings if necessary (more salt and/or vinegar). Serve in glasses. Drizzle quality olive oil for an extra nice touch and a little additional flavor.
Details: Makes 8-12 servings.