Brenner's gazpacho sevillano.
cook a lot, youíve probably made gazpacho before. Maybe
youíve even made it dozens of times. But how often has it
blown you away?
as I thought.
height of tomato season, it seems the right moment to give
the perennially popular cold soup ó whose birthplace is
southern Spain ó a fresh look.
soupís roots go back a long way: It was born sometime
between the 7th and 13th centuries (depending on who you
ask). In any case, it predates the arrival of tomatoes in
Europe, which may come as a surprise to anyone who knows
gazpacho as a cold tomato soup with cucumbers and peppers
fact, gazpacho was originally a cold soup of pounded bread,
garlic and salt with olive oil and vinegar. Some of those
ingredients are often forgotten by modern American cooks,
which is one of the many reasons gazpacho so often falls
flat. Bread is essential for body, garlic for a little bite
and vinegar for zing. Olive oil adds silkiness and its own
approach it one of two ways. If I want a quick-as-possible
version, I soak bread in sherry vinegar, toss it in the food
processor with chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, a red bell
pepper, a little water, garlic, salt and a pinch of red
pepper, give it a whirl and serve it right away with a
couple of ice cubes in the bowl. Chopped cucumber, peppers
and maybe scallions go on top as garnishes. Itís pretty
I want a version thatís absolutely stunning, I take just a
couple of extra steps ? peeling and seeding the tomatoes,
straining the intensely-flavored juice that runs out of
them, and adding that to the sherry vinegar-soaking bread. I
use a vegetable peeler to peel the red bell pepper. And
after I puree the soup in the food processor, I give it a
whirl with an immersion blender to make it super-smooth and
silky. The few minutes extra results in a gazpacho thatís
great Andalusian gazpacho depends on two things: ripe
tomatoes with fabulous flavor and the right balance of
ingredients ? including the vinegar and olive oil. If you
get your hands on great tomatoes and use them in this
recipe, Iím pretty sure youíll be blown away.
way, I generally use the same garnishes. If I make the
super-smooth version, I make it more elegant by dicing them
finely rather then chopping them in a hurry ó and
sometimes add radishes or avocados.
can also follow the lead of chefs and get all creative with
the garnishes. Want to go super-splashy, maybe for a special
dinner party? Top each bowl with a spoonful of lump crabmeat
or diced cooked shrimp (or boiled tiny bay shrimp), plus
some diced ripe avocado and a few pretty sprigs of frise.
your gazpacho ? you decide. Now go ahead and give it a
quicker, more rustic version, skip peeling the red bell
pepper. Instead of peeling and seeding the tomatoes, cut
them into big chunks.
pounds ripe tomatoes
cup sherry vinegar
to 3 ounces French or Italian bread, crusts removed, torn or
cut into small pieces (about 2 cups)
medium cucumber (English garden-variety or hothouse),
peeled, seeded and cut into chunks
bell pepper, seeded, peeled with a vegetable peeler and cut
medium garlic cloves, peeled and crushed in a press
pinch of Espelette, cayenne or Aleppo pepper
cup best-quality olive oil
below for garnish options
the tomatoes: Bring a large pot of water to a boil, drop the
tomatoes in the water for 10 seconds, drain and run cold
water on them to stop the cooking. The skins will slip off
easily. Core them and cut them in half horizontally. Place a
fine-mesh sieve over a medium bowl. Working over the sieve
so the bowl catches the juices, gently squeeze the tomatoes
and use your fingers to remove the seeds, letting them drop
into the seive. Once all the tomatoes are seeded, press the
seeds with the back of a spoon to release all the juice into
the bowl. Discard the seeds.
the vinegar and the bread to the bowl with the tomato juices
(if you have indeed peeled them) and toss to combine. For
the more rustic version, simply place the bread in a small
bowl and pour the vinegar over it.
bowl of a food processor, combine about half the tomatoes,
half the cucumber, half the soaked bread (with some of the
liquid and half the red bell pepper). Transfer the puree to
a large bowl. Put the rest of the tomatoes in the food
processor with the remaining cucumber, soaked bread and
liquid, bell pepper, garlic, salt, Espellette (or cayenne or
Aleppo) pepper and the water, and puree till smooth. With
the motor running, pour the olive oil in a stream through
the contents of the food processor bowl to the bowl with the
first batch, and use an immersion blender to make the puree
as smooth and frothy as possible. When you think itís
smooth enough, puree it a little more. Correct the
seasoning, adding salt or red pepper if needed.
covered, in the fridge about two hours. Or serve right away,
adding a few ice cubes to each bowl. Either way, serve with
whatever garnishes youíve selected ó either garnishing
each individual bowl, or passing the garnishes at the table.
(any or all of the following): Cucumber (peeled, seeded and
finely diced), red, green or yellow bell peppers (or any
combination, seeded and finely diced), radishes (sliced,
diced or julienned), scallions, finely sliced (green and
white parts), homemade croutons (small cubes), toasted pine
nuts, chopped green pimento-stuffed olives, lump crabmeat,
diced cooked shrimp, hard-boiled eggs (if you want to be
fancy, dice the whites, push the yolks through a sieve and
serve them separately; otherwise just dice them fine).
Cooks Without Borders