Gazpacho #1:This is from Nigel's friend David. He'd like to remind you that gazpacho makes great sauce on squash! Mmmm...
9 large, vine-ripened tomatoes, peeled & seeded 1 medium red onion, finely diced 3 cloves garlic, finely minced 2 medium cucumbers, peeled, seeded & diced 1 bell pepper, finely diced 1 or 2 jalapeno chiles, finely diced 1/3 cup olive oil 6 Tbsp. red wine vinegar (or to taste) salt & pepper optional : 1/4 c. sliced basil, cilantro or parsley
Core the tomatoes and dip into boiling water for about 10 seconds to loosen skin. Place tomatoes in ice water to cool, then slip off their skins. Over a strainer, cut the tomatoes in half crosswise and squeeze out the juice and seeds. Reserve the juice and discard the seeds. Puree half the tomatoes in a food processor or blender. Coarsely chop the remaining tomatoes. Combine pureed and chopped tomatoes in a bowl and add the reserved juice. Add the red onion, garlic, cucumbers, bell pepper and jalapeno. Season with the olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper. Chill for at least one hour before serving. Makes 8 servings, give or take
*If using fresh herbs, just add to other ingredients.
Gazpacho is a hard one to pin down, basically as there is no one cut-and-dried version. Joanne Weir introduces it well in her excellent cookbook From Tapas to Meze, “In Spain, there are over thirty varieties of gazpacho, all containing soaked bread. The dish originally came to Andalusia via the Romans, who made it with garlic, bread, olive oil, water, and salt. When Columbus returned to Spain from the New World, he brought with him the tomato and pepper. With these new ingredients, the face of gazpacho changed and became more rosy.”
Here's her recipe... 2½ lbs tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped, juice reserved 1 pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped 1 med red onion, coarsely chopped 1 lg cucumber, peeled, halved, seeded, and coarsely chopped 5-6 Tbsp. red wine vinegar 3 lg garlic cloves, minced 1¼ cups tomato juice ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil 1 slice bread, crusts removed, soaked in water and squeezed dry salt & freshly ground pepper
GARNISH: 1 Tbsp. olive oil 1 Tbsp. butter 3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed 6 slices bread, crusts off, cut in small cubes ¼ cup diced pepper ½ tomato, diced ¼ cup diced red onion
In a bowl, mix tomatoes, pepper, onions, cucumber, vinegar, garlic, tomato juice, olive oil, and bread. Put the mixture ina blender in batches. Blend on high speed for 3-4 minutes, until very smooth. Strain through a coarse strainer. Season with salt, pepper, and vinegar as needed. Chill. Heat olive oil and butter in a skillet. Add the crushed garlic and cook until garlic is golden brown, about 4-5 minutes. Remove garlic and discard. Saute slowly, stirring occasionally, for 20-30 mins, until bread cubes are golden. Cool. Serve with croutons and other garnishes.
Gazpacho #3: Nigel considers the previous tasty recipe to be a "complicated" gazpacho. He makes his more like the following one from that wonderful book by Rosalind Creasy, Cooking from the Garden.
About 7 tomatoes, or about 7 cups, chopped 1 onion 2 cloves garlic ½ hot or medium hot pepper, to taste 2 sweet bell peppers 1 large cucumber 1 Tbsp. olive oil 1/3 cup wine vinegar ½ cup red or white wine 3-6 sprigs fresh herbs
Chop all vegetables coarsely for processing in a food processor or blender. The processor will give the soup some crunch; the blender will give a smoother texture. Process all ingredients in batches, pouring into a large, non-aluminum bowl to mix. Refrigerate at least one hour before serving. Garnish each bowl with your choice of: avocado slices, sweet pepper slices, cucumber slices, fresh herbs, chives, slightly toasted sunflower seeds, or plain lowfat yogurt.
If a more tomato-based flavor is desired, add 1-2 cups tomato juice to soup.
Nigel's Gazpacho Notes:
Somewhere along the way, Nigel had read that it's a good idea to put ice cubes in the soup. He likes this because it cools it down quickly for immediate eating and also adds some liquid, as gazpacho can be chunky.
He likes to add grated summer squash of different colors. It’s juicier grated than chopped in a food processor.
He also likes to grate the tomatoes to give a nice, juicy texture. Cucumbers and onions grate well, too. Peppers and garlic are easier in the food processor (put garlic in by itself first -- it tends to chop better that way).
Lastly, he doesn't soak or de-crust my bread. Rather, he just puts big chunks in bowls and pours the soup over it.