Friday, 7 January 2011

G is for... Gazpacho



I had never liked gazpacho much until one late Summer's day a few years ago. Richard and I had only known each other for a short time and he'd invited me round for lunch and the starter he'd made was gazpacho soup. But this wasn't just any old gazpacho soup - it was the most delicious gazpacho soup I had ever eaten. Ever. So, naturally, for G night, I asked his advice on how to make a gazpacho as delectable as he had made all that time ago for me. As I had been secretly hoping, he not only offered his advice. Instead he made the soup in front of me, so I could learn it and, better still, could get away with having a little break from G's prep work without feeling guilty or lazy. Excellent. As I wanted to serve the gazpacho in shot glasses, we both agreed that the addition of bread, as is usual in the recipe, should be omitted, so the soup would be thinner and more drinkable. Richard bases his gazpacho on an old Elisabeth Luard recipe from European Peasant Cookery, but he adds an extra kick to the seasoning. Here's Richard's gazpacho, sans the bread:

Gazpacho

Half a pint of cold water
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
2-4 cloves of garlic
3" piece of cucumber
1 lb ripe tomatoes
1 green pepper
1 red onion
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
A quarter of a pint of tomato juice
Salt and pepper
A pinch of sugar
A few drops of Tabasco

Simply place all the ingredients in a processor and blitz until thoroughly liquidised. taste for seasoning and dilute further if necessary. Place in the fridge along with the shot glasses (or you could even pop the glasses in the freezer) until you're ready to serve. 

If you want to serve this as larger portions in bowls, double the quantity to serve 6 and add 1 - 2 slices of day old bread to the food processor before blitzing. Reserve a few finely chopped pieces of cucumber and pepper to scatter over the tops of the bowls with an extra drizzle of olive oil. 

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