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Quick Gazpacho

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Last week, Tina and I visited Nate and Annie of House of Annie for an heirloom tomato tasting. They provided twenty different tomato varieties that they grew in their backyard (as well as providing a wonderful dinner) to try. After the tasting, they packed me a care package of tomatoes and suggested I make gazpacho.

For a full account of the taste testing, take a look at what Nate wrote: Herloom Tomato Tasting at House of Annie. For the record, I liked Brandy Boy (my favorite), Little Lucky, Goose Creek, and JD Special CTex the best.


Gazpacho is a Spanish soup traditionally made with bread and vegetables (usually tomato, cucumber, bell pepper, and onion) and seasoned with olive oil, garlic, and vinegar. It's usually served chilled but some regions serve it warm or hot.

I decided to do the fastest and simplest recipe possible for a chilled, raw, tomato gazpacho. I based the recipe on one of House of Annie's gazpacho recipes.

I started off (as always) assembling the ingredients 1/2 large (150 g) cucumber, 1 slice white bread (roughly chopped), 1 clove (6 g) garlic, 1 tsp. kosher salt, 1 tsp. paprika, 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, and 1 Tbs. red wine vinegar. The tomatoes (about 800 g of chopped up and whole tomatoes) were in a large Ziploc bag in my refrigerator.


After chopping up the cucumber, I stuffed all the ingredients into a large blender and pulsed for one second at a time about ten times. (The number and duration of pulses will depend on the power and efficiency of your particular blender).


After the pulsing, the mixture was fairly homogeneous with only a few small bits (smaller than the size of tomato seeds) suspended in the mixture. I'll remove those bits later buy pouring through a sieve.


The mixture was poured into a large bowl and refrigerated for an hour to chill and allow the flavors to meld.


Before serving, I ladled the gazpacho into a sieve (strainer) and stirred it (in the sieve) to filter out any pulp and seeds.



This method really did yield a tasty gazpacho with a minimum of time and effort in the kitchen - just a couple minutes to assemble the ingredients, run the blender, and stick the soup into the fridge. I did find that the texture of the soup was more "fluffy" probably due to the incorporation of air into the soup during the violent blending stage. Nate had the same results when using his blender and prefers some of his other recipes. I'm no a gazpacho aficionado, and besides the texture (which I didn't mind) I found the gazpacho to be very flavorful (although I suspect that the high quality of the tomatoes really took this dish to the next level) and had a nice lingering spiciness from the garlic. Overall a refreshing dish on a warm evening.

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Written by Michael Chu
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6 comments on Quick Gazpacho:(Post a comment)

On October 05, 2008 at 10:48 PM, Aussie Altissima (guest) said...
Subject: Spanish smoked Paprika
Lucky you! those tomatoes look delicious. We in the southern hemisphere are just planting our tomatoes now.
You didn't specify what type of paprika you used. I notice House of Annie's recipe specified Smoked Spanish Paprika, and I would heartily endorse this for gazpacho- it adds delicious depth and complexity. I prefer the sweet/mild variety , but it also available in hot.


On October 06, 2008 at 08:29 AM, surfzone said...
Subject: About ingredients
At home we eat quite a lot of gazpacho, maybe 2-3 times per week, specially during hot summer months. It is excellent for its mix of vegetables, vitamins and everything else :-D
We never used paprika, maybe next time we'll try it.
BTW, that smoked paprika has a proper name: Pimentón de la Vera :-)


On October 06, 2008 at 08:13 PM, an anonymous reader said...
Subject: Stick Blender is slower but better
Hi Michael,

thanks again for coming over. It was a very pleasant evening, meeting and eating with you and Tina.

I've done this gazpacho in my old el cheapo Hamilton Beach blender, and I don't recall the gazpacho coming out as "fluffy" as it did using the Vita-Mix. I guess the more powerful blender is able to pull more air into the soup. I think I'll just sick with the hand blender from now on.

Aloha,

Nate
http://chezanies.blogspot.com


On November 04, 2008 at 10:41 PM, Brandy (guest) said...
Subject: Close to what I had in Spain
While I was studying in Spain a few years ago, I learned how to make gazpacho from a guy I met in Seville. This is extremely close to what he taught me. Only difference is that we didn't use paprika and added some cold water while straining the puree. The water might fix your fluffy texture. We drank it instead of eating it as a soup and I've never tasted anything so refreshing on a hot summer day!


On July 07, 2012 at 03:34 PM, Antilope (guest) said...
Subject: When using supermarket tomatoes that don't have much flavor.
If I am making Gazpacho from supermarket tomatoes that don't have a lot of flavor, I add some V8 juice to the recipe. It really perks up the final result.


On November 05, 2013 at 02:09 AM, Andalusian (guest) said...
There's maybe as many gazpacho recipes as families in Spain. I give my penny with the tips of our way. We use yesterday bread leftovers, no paprika, a little of Cumin ( my father prefer no cumin :) and 1mix :1 water or ice for crash action drink chill gazpacho.
Great page and sorry for my English.

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