My wife, Patricia, is from Andalucía, a region known for sherry and hams. But not many people know that Andalucía is the cold-soup capital of the world, thanks to gazpacho. Every summer, when you open the refrigerator in my house, you'll see a big glass pitcher right in the middle with this rich, creamy red liquid inside. It's always ready to refresh you on a hot day. My wife doesn't like to cook, and she always tries hard to change the menu at home. But one thing she cooks like the gods is gazpacho. This is her recipe. It's also one of the reasons I married her.
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 plum tomato with 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. Serve when the gazpacho is refreshingly chilled.