Spain

Dish

This popular soup from the Andalusian area , (an autonomous community of Spain), mostly known now for being served cold, has many different influences from Greece and Rome, but also from the Moor's and Arab culture. The original soup was blended stale bread, olive oil and garlic, with some liquid like water or vinegar that was pounded together in a mortar. Different vegetables and almonds that were available were also added. This soup evolved into different varieties, the most popular around the world is a tomato based variety, served cold. It is often served heated in certain regions in Spain. A Spanish refrain says, De gazpacho no hay empacho-You can never get too much of a good thing or too much Gazpacho, It is great for any meal or snack and the left over can be used as a sauce for pasta.

Ingredients

  • 1 red pepper, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 small red onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 tbsp tarragon leaves, chopped
  • 600g ripe vine tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 300ml tomato juice
  • a slice of stale white bread
  • Dash of Tabasco sauce
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Good quality olive oil, to drizzle
  • Sherry vinegar

Method

  1. Mix the chopped vegetables with the herbs (retaining half the basil for later), tomatoes, tomato juice and spicy sauces.
  2. Season well with salt and black pepper – don't be too cautious, this should be nice and spicy.
  3. Leave in the fridge to marinade for at least an hour.
  4. Blend until it is fluid with the bread slice – pass through a sieve if you want it really smooth, I prefer to leave it with some texture.
  5. Chill, then garnish with basil and olive oil and sherry vinegar serve with toasted sourdough bread and goat's cheese.