Gazpacho: cold, Andalusian tomato soup

Recipe for gazpacho: cold, Andalusian tomato soup

tomato gazpacho recipe

Tomatos are now ready: let the tomatofest begin

One of the highlights of my year is when we get the first tomatoes and I can start making gazpacho. I first tasted gazpacho on my year abroad in Sevilla. In the oppressive Sevilla heat, gazpacho was a refreshing interlude and we would go to a bar where you could order it by the glass. Bars serve a slightly watered down version in long glasses with ice cubes that you can drink. Restaurants, on the other hand, serve a thicker version in a bowl and served with finely diced garnishes (hard-boiled egg, cucumber, green pepper, onion, tomato, croutons). When I first saw gazpacho being made by a woman in Seville, I was sure she cracked an egg into the mix before blending. Later at another person’s house, she admitted to adding a spoonful of mayonnaise to the mixture.

There are literally hundreds of ways of preparing gazpacho and each person has their own recipe. Here is mine. You can make it as fine or as chunky as you like. If you prefer, you can sieve it after to remove the seeds and skins. If you would like to serve it as a drink, then add more water. I like to add a spoon of mayonnaise as well as I think that this improves the texture and taste but it’s entirely up to you.

The quantities are approximate and really depend on how many people you are preparing it for. The important thing is that the tomatoes must be red and ripe as the flavour really does depend on the ingredients you put in.

For more facts and information about tomatoes check out this page.

INGREDIENTS:
1-2kg ripe tomatoes
1 Spanish cucumber (or about 15cm of a long cucumber)
1 large Spanish green pepper or 1/2 Italian green pepper
5 cloves garlic
salt
pepper
2 capfuls of balsamic vinegar
a good slug of olive oil
1 dessertspoon mayonnaise

Blend all the ingredients in a large bowl until smooth. Add as much water as you like.

Taste and add more salt, vinegar, garlic, etc. if necessary.

 

 

 

Salmorejo – a chilled, tomato-based soup

Salmorejo

Salmorejo

Salmorejo

A lot of people are put off by the idea of a cold tomato soup, imagining a can of Heinz tomato soup poured into a bowl and served. But it’s time to put any ill-conceived ideas aside and give this recipe a try. Both salmorejo and gazpacho are served chilled. Salmorejo traditionally originates in Córdoba and is topped with jamón serrano and hard-boiled egg. It was on a visit to Córdoba that I first tasted it in a bar. It was love at first taste.

While gazpacho is made from tomatoes, green pepper, cucumber, garlic, vinegar and olive oil, salmorejo is its thicker cousin: a chilled tomato soup made with tomato, bread, garlic and olive oil.

As with gazpacho, everyone has their own recipe. Some people peel the tomatoes, but I don’t think it’s necessary. The beauty of this recipe is that it’s fast and easy to prepare. The important thing is for the tomatoes to be red and ripe. I’ve seen recipes which add onion, green pepper but the moment you start adding those you are simply making a gazpacho. Salmorejo should only really be made with the ingredients shown below.

There was some salmorejo left over so the next day, I added a small amount of water and served it glasses.

For more facts an dinformation abouttomatoes, check out this page.

INGREDIENTS:
1kg ripe tomatoes
200g stale bread, cut into chunks
250ml olive oil
3 cloves garlic, sliced
salt

METHOD:
Remove the core from the tomatoes and put into a bowl. Season with salt and add the garlic. Blend with a stick blender. Add the bread to the tomato and mix well. Leave for about 15 minutes to soften the bread. Pour in the oil and blend well. Check for seasoning.

Chill before serving. Decorate with finely chopped hard-boiled egg and/or serrano ham.