Gazpacho

Gazpacho, how much do I love you? This cold, raw tomato soup hails from Andalusia, Spain and if I don’t get my butt to España soon I will be forever cranky. I wanted to do something Spanish to coincide with the new Cookbook Review column here on Mattbites from the lovely Kristina Gill. This week it’s all about Spain. I could easily dedicate an entire blog about the country of Spain, it’s one of my favorite places on the planet that I would gladly pack up and move to tomorrow if I had my druthers. The only problem is that a) I am an American so there’s that pesky paperwork problem and b) I’d fall asleep at the dinner table each and every night. Oh who am I kidding? I would have been in bed for 2 hours by the time everyone assembles for dinner. Old man, me.

These two recipes for gazpacho come from Chef José Andrés. Whenever I think of him I get warm and tingly and I am thankful that he has chosen to live here in the US. I believe it makes this a better place, for sure. Saving the conversation about Spain being a gastronomic mecca for a later date, Chef José’s recipes have always worked for me and these two recipes are not only extremely flavorful (and one packs a punch!) but easy to prepare. You may not want to think of cold tomato soups in February I realize but I am in Los Angeles and we’ve had glorious sunny weather lately.  Plus I wanted to pretend I was in Spain. I even listened to a little Segovia.

Remind me to tell you about the time I ran into him at Disneyland while I was hosting my friends visiting from Palma de Mallorca. You’ve never heard two Spanish men squeal like children, it was Mallorquín on fire.  My friends I mean, not Chef Andrés.

These two recipes may be similar in their no-cook Spanish spirit but they are quite different. The first gazpacho was made with green tomatoes which gave it a pleasant tangy green flavor. It was the second–a white gazpacho made with almonds and bread– that made me so happy. Garlicky, savory and intense, it’s almost easy to forget that this robust soup hasn’t been cooked at all. And those green grapes? Pure heavenly contrast. It’s amazing how delicious they are in this soup. I really couldn’t get enough.

Gazpacho from Tapas: A Taste of Spain in America by José Andrés, Clarkson Potter

For the gazpacho:
2 pounds ripe red tomatoes (about 10 plum tomatoes) or you can use heirloom tomatoes or even green tomatoes!
8 ounces cucumber (about 1 cucumber)
3 ounces green pepper (about 1/2 bell pepper)
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1 garlic clove, peeled
3/4 cup Spanish extra-virgin olive oil
Salt to taste

For the garnish:
1 tablespoon Spanish extra-virgin olive oil
1 slice rustic white bread
8 plum tomatoes, with the seeds prepared as “fillets”
12 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cucumber, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
4 pearl onions, pulled apart into segments
2 tablespoons Spanish extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
Sea salt to taste
4 chives, cut into 1-inch long pieces

1. Cut out and discard the core at the top of the tomatoes, and chop the tomatoes roughly into quarters. Place in the blender.
2. Peel the cucumber and cut into chunks. Add to the tomatoes in the blender. Cut the pepper in half, and remove the core along with the seeds. Again, chop into large pieces and place in the blender.
3. Add the garlic and sherry vinegar to the vegetables and blend until the mixture becomes a thick liquid. At this point the red tomatoes will turn a wonderful pink color. Taste for acidity. This will vary with the sweetness of the tomatoes. If it’s not balanced enough, add a little more vinegar. Add the olive oil and season with salt to taste. Re-blend, then pour the gazpacho through a strainer into a pitcher. Place in the fridge to cool for at least half an hour.
4. While the gazpacho is chilling, prepare the garnish. In a small pan, heat the olive oil over a medium-high flame and fry the bread until golden, about 2 minutes. Break into small pieces to form croutons and set aside.
5. To serve, place in each bowl 4 croutons, 2 “fillets” of tomato seeds, 4 cherry tomato halves, 3 cucumber cubes, and 3 onion segments. Add a few drops of olive oil to each onion segment and drizzle a little more oil around the bowl. Add a few drops of vinegar to each cucumber cube and drizzle a little more around the bowl. Sprinkle sea salt on the tomatoes, and sprinkle the chives across the bowl. Serve chilled.

White Gazpacho from Jaleo Restaurant
7 ounces blanched almonds
1 ounce garlic cloves
2 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 ounces bread
1 1/2 ounces freshly pressed white grape juice
1 1/2 ounces sherry vinegar
1 cup  Spanish extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and white pepper, to taste
18 grapes, peeled and halved

Combine almonds, garlic and water in saucepan. Bring to a boil; cool slightly. Place mixture in food processor with remaining ingredients except grapes. Purée until frothy, season to taste and and refrigerate. Serve cold and garnish with plenty of grapes.

Comments

  1. Skinny D. says

    Gazpacho is one of my personal favorites. Being a hater of V8, I was thrilled to discover this alternative. Having lived all over Andalucia for two years, I quicky overcame my childhood aversion to tomatoes, peppers and garlic and now most of my favorite foods involve some combination of these three veggies.

    I got a gazpacho recipe from a lady in Malaga who made it for me. To my shame, I haven’t attempted to make it yet, but I vow to do so this summer when the fresh veggies come on.

  2. lotusmoss says

    Yes! Real gazpacho!!! I HATE the V8 throw-in-a-bunch-of-chopped vegetable versions. I make the exact recipe you have above for regular gazpacho, but I use a red bell pepper usually, and I add in a couple of Tb. of fresh good quality breadcrumbs…. In Seville, sometimes they garnished it with Jamon. Sometimes I garnish mine with nice country ham bits for those so inclined, or else with homemade arugula pesto.

    Thanks for the white version, I’ll be excited to try.

  3. says

    I’ve made a very similar recipe to the white gazpacho a couple times except it wasn’t boiled at all so the garlic packed QUITE a punch. I love garlic, don’t get me wrong, but that was something else! I’ll have to try the boiling method to see if it tames it a bit. Also the recipe I used called for peeling the grapes… a bit of a pain, but texturally very nice.

  4. Richard Stevens says

    Wow! Beautiful! I’ve never made white Gazpacho, must give it a try.
    I make my own tomato juice with a variety of tomatoes from our garden at the end of summer and it makes a wonderful base for the traditional style Gazpacho.
    I find Most people tend to skimp on the olive oil which is really an integral part of the soup!
    Great post guys!

  5. says

    It’s funny to hear you ran into someone you know at Disneyland. I guess it really is “a small world after all”….get it…small…world? I crack me up. :) Love the white gazpacho.

  6. says

    I love your blog — the gorgeous photos, great recipes, interesting adventures … What’s not to love! As one who makes your living in the culinary industry, I’m curious as to which US city is your favorite in terms of restaurants, the whole food ethos, etc. On our blog, we shared that Asheville, NC tops our list. If you could leave a comment on our blog, I know our foodie friends would be interested in hearing your opinion AND learning more about your work. Thanks so much!

  7. says

    My mother taught me to make gazpacho the summer I was ten. She also taught me that starting May, one can keep a can of tomatoes in the fridge, just in case. This may be necessary this year given the damage done to Florida tomato crops this winter. The WSJ has an article about it.

  8. Joan says

    Thank you so much for the white version – it replaces a long lost recipe for me! Years ago living in NY my downstairs neighbor was an aspiring flamenco dancer (thankfully she was downstairs!) and she made a very similar soup. I fell in love with it and wrote the recipe down on a slip of paper that survived several moves but finally was lost. I’ll be more careful with this one!

  9. marta says

    We (in Spain) also make Salmorejo. Its similar to gazpacho but thicker. Just tomatoes, garlic, hard bread (baguette from day before), olive oil and wine vinegar. Mix tomatoes, bread, put some salt& garlic (1 piece for 1/2 kilo) in the mixer. maintain it going on and pour oil (olive oil 0,5, almost half liter). As you pour oil with mixer when its on the oil gets thicker. Serve and place small squared jabugo ham, some fried squared bread and some ipeces of boied eggs.
    Sorry about my written english !!! I hope you understand.
    Marta from Madrid (Spain)

  10. marta says

    Ah! pour vinegar in the mixer at the end. Sorry I forgot!
    The white gazpach verion its called AJOBLANCO if you want to know.
    In the south of our country in he summer its tipical to drink it in a glass as a bloody Mary kind of.

  11. says

    Thanks for sharing this recipe. This is really great. I really like gazpacho. Honestly, it’s one of my favorites. Thanks again for the post.

  12. says

    These 2 versions of gazpacho are unlike any I have ever encountered. The inclusion of almonds sounds delicious! Must be kind of creamy from the nuts?? Both are perfect for the weather we have been having in SoCal. Love your creativity with the photos and the recipes.

  13. says

    Pintxos are pintxos (or pinchos), small portions of food on a piece of bread. Tapas are small portions of food, but bigger than pinchos on a plate. One person can eat a pincho, about two to three people can eat a tapa. You can find pinchos all thoroughtout the north coast of Spain.

  14. says

    I make gazpacho when my giant family gets together at the beach every summer (it is one of my primary functions), and I am going to confuse the hell out of everyone with one or both of these. My Costa Rican sister in law is going to go crazy for them – I can’t wait.

  15. says

    Gazpacho and other cold soups are always in demand in our home during summer so I always welcome different varieties and versions of them in our menu. Your 2 Gazpacho recipes sounds easy to make. I made something similar to your White Gazpacho only I also mix some yogurt (or milk) in it and put less bread.

    This post has now inspired me to start experimenting with these Gazpacho recipes. Thanks.

  16. says

    I can’t remember the last time I’ve had Gazpacho but I’d like to thank you for showing it to me so I can make it. Looks so delicious right about now!

  17. says

    I’m currently at work but I’m sure as soon as I come back home I’ll rush to the kitchen and start cooking this gazpacho asap! These pictures are so delicious! Can’t wait to try it!

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