I couldn't let summer pass by without making a batch of gazpacho. This past Labor Day weekend, I used a recipe from Anya von Bremzen's The New Spanish Table to make the Spanish tomato-based soup that is a celebration of summer's bounty. I was slightly dismayed when my soup turned out pink in color, as every other gazpacho I've eaten is bright red, but fortunately the flavor profile was every bit as bright as any gazpacho I've had.
- 2 cups cubed day-old country bread, crust removed
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1/8 tsp cumin seeds
- 3 lbs. ripe tomatoes, cored, seeded, and chopped
- 1 small red onion, minced
- 1 Italian frying pepper, cored, seeded, and chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and chopped
- 2 kirby cucumbers, peeled and chopped
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup chilled water
- 3 tbsp sherry vinegar
- Place salt, garlic, and cumin in a mortar and pestle and mash to a smooth paste.
- Place bread in a bowl and cover with cold water. Let sit for 10 minutes. Drain and squeeze lightly to extract excess water.
- Place bread, tomatoes, peppers, onion, cucumbers, and salt mixture in a large bowl. Let sit for ten minutes.
- Place half of tomato mixture in the bowl of a food processor. Add 1/4 cup of olive oil and process until smooth, approximately one minute. Pour the mixture into a large bowl.
- Place remaining tomato mixture in the bowl of the food processor along with 1/4 cup olive oil. Process until smooth and pour it into the bowl containing the rest of the soup.
- Add sherry vinegar and water to the soup. Pour into a blender, or using an emulsion blender, blend until the mixture is completely smooth. Taste soup for salt and vinegar.
- Place soup in the refrigerator and chill for at least two hours before serving.