Gazpacho

Gazpacho


The savory smoothie from Spain is almost too easy.
TIME 20 minutes
MAKES 4 servings
2 pounds tomatoes, cored, or one 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, including the juice
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cut into chunks
2 or 3 thick bread slices (a day or two old is best), crusts removed, torn into small pieces
¼ cup olive oil, plus more for garnish
2 tablespoons any wine vinegar, or more to taste
1 medium garlic clove, cut in half
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ red or yellow bell pepper, cored, seeded, and chopped, for garnish
2 scallions, chopped, for garnish


Method
1 Cut the tomatoes into chunks if they’re large and put them in a blender or food processor with the cucumber, bread, oil, vinegar, garlic, and 1 cup water; sprinkle with salt and pepper and pulse the machine on and off until smooth. If the mixture seems too thick, thin it by gradually adding water, 1 tablespoon at a time.

2 Taste, adjust the seasoning with salt, pepper, or vinegar, and serve right away or refrigerate and eat within a couple of hours. Garnish each serving with the bell pepper, scallions, and a drizzle of olive oil.

Variations
  • Fruit Gazpacho: Try fresh peaches, melon, or mangoes instead of tomatoes, only figure 2½ pounds. Trim and peel as necessary.
  • Spicy Gazpacho: Seed and mince ½ fresh hot chile (like jalapeƱo) and add it to the other garnishes.

Tips
  • Use flavorless tomatoes and you’ll get flavorless gazpacho. So when tomatoes aren’t in season, use good-quality canned.
  • I like sherry vinegar in gazpacho (they’re both Spanish, after all), but since it’s quite tart, start with just 1 teaspoon and taste. If you don’t have sherry vinegar, any good red or white wine vinegar is fine.

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