I heard gazpacho referred to as a finely chopped vegetable salad and I have to agree. I have seen many recipes that use a food processor or blender, but, to me, the best results always come from chopping everything by hand. Of course really ripe tomatoes and fresh vegetables also are imperative for success.
When it comes to gazpacho, everyone likes to add different ingredients and spices. The recipe below is a basic starting point. I like to add a tablespoon of olive oil to each serving, but other people have used fresh lime juice, sherry, vinegar and liquors to finish the dish. If a spicy soup is desired, double the jalapeno and add a dash of cayenne pepper sauce. I chop extra vegetables so they can be used as garnish for those who want.
- 10-14 medium tomatoes skinned, seeded and minced
- 2-3 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 red onion minced
- 1 jalapeno diced fine
- 1/2 cucumber chopped fine
- 1/2 green pepper chopped fine
- 2 tbsp basil cut into small thin ribbons
- 1 lemon
- 1 lime
- Extra virgin olive oil
- ice cubes
Add everything, but the oil and ice to a large bowl. Mix well and season according to taste. Refrigerate soup for four hours to allow flavor to mix and improve. If the soup is too thick add some water. Serve in bowls drizzled with oil and 4-5 ice cubes each. Extra chopped vegetables can be reserved for people to add as garnish on top of the soup as well.
Links and notes: I know that some of you will balk at the absence of vinegar. We tried it both ways and liked it better without it. For those of you who don’t want to do all the chopping, check out this blended version over at Chica Andaluza. She also has a broad bean version and one that “originates from the beautiful city of Córdoba.”