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.
6 comments on Quick Gazpacho: