Gazpacho

Gazpacho is an Andalusian summer soup. The ingredients are fairly flexible, the key being high-summer freshness. A variation is to add a few slices of stale white bread (soaked in water for 20min and then squeezed out) to the blended soup mix, instead of garnishing it with croutons.

10 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 cucumber, peeled and chopped (save some for the garnish)
1 red pepper, seeded and finely chopped (save some for the garnish)
2 spring onions, chopped (save some for the garnish)
3 garlic cloves
1 tbsp chopped basil (save some for the garnish)
4 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp sherry or wine vinegar

For the garnish
This is a moveable feast. Use some or all of the following:

some cucumber, peeled and chopped
spring onion, finely sliced
red or green pepper, finely sliced
hard boiled egg, finely chopped
a handful of black olives, finely chopped
a few mint leaves, finely chopped
a few basil leaves, finely chopped
croutons – fry slightly stale white bread in olive oil
salt & pepper

Whizz the tomatoes, cucumber, red pepper, spring onions, garlic and basil in a blender.

Slowly blend in the olive oil and vinegar and season to taste. Sieve the soup – this is optional. I sieved most of it, and stirred in some of the pulp to give it slightly more body.

Cool in the fridge.

Add garnish, drizzle with olive oil and serve.

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