Classic Gazpacho (Serves 4)
This might be a bit thinner than the gazpachos you're used to, but its consistency is authentically Spanish. Be sure to rinse the tomatoes before you use them. Picual olive oil is recommended here for its buttery start and peppery finish; the picual olive is Spanish. The vegetables need to marinate in the refrigerator for a few hours and preferably overnight.
From Madrid chef Gabriela Llamas.
1kg tomatoes and their juices, hulled and chopped, plus diced tomatoes for garnish
100g seeded, chopped red bell pepper, plus diced red bell pepper for garnish
2/3 cup (about 85g) peeled, chopped cucumber (seedless or seeded), plus diced cucumber for garnish
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 slice day-old bread (crusts removed), torn into small pieces, plus small croutons for garnish (optional)
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt, or more as needed
1 1/2 tablespoons good-quality Spanish sherry vinegar, or more as needed
Small pinch ground cumin (optional)
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, preferably picual olive variety, plus more for optional drizzling
Diced white onion, for garnish
Diced green bell pepper, for garnish
Combine the chopped tomatoes, red bell pepper, cucumber, garlic and bread, if using, in an earthenware or glass bowl. Add the salt, vinegar and cumin, if using, tossing to coat.
Cover and refrigerate for at least a few hours and preferably overnight.
To make the soup the traditional way, mash all the ingredients in the bowl.
Place a fine-mesh strainer over a separate bowl, then, working in batches, use a flexible spatula to push the mashed mixture, including its liquid, through the strainer.
After you have extracted as much moisture as possible from the solids, discard them.
Faster ways: Process the marinated mixture through a hand-cranked food mill (using its smallest-holed screen); or place the marinated vegetables and their liquid in a high-powered blender and purée on the highest speed for about 1 1/2 minutes, then strain through a fine-mesh strainer. (Discard the solids afterward for both of those methods, too.)
Stir the oil into the strained gazpacho.
Taste; add salt and/or vinegar, as needed. Transfer to an airtight container; refrigerate until ready to use.
Serve chilled, with the garnishes on the side - diced tomato, cucumber, onion, and red and green pepper; and croutons, if using - for everyone to help themselves.
Drizzle with a little oil, if desired.
The Washington Post