Gazpacho is one of my most-requested recipes, picked up from my years in Spain. A small cup of this refreshing soup is the first thing served at most meals in Spain, like their version of a first-course salad. The acid of the tomato opens up your taste buds.
Swap options: Using seasonal fruits like watermelon or even peaches, or topping it off with fresh avocado and crab can be great additions. It’s like summer in a bowl, but because it starts with high-quality canned tomatoes, you can make it year-round.
- One 28 ounce can whole San Marzano tomatoes with juices
- 1/2 cup sherry wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 small yellow onion, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, ½ coarsely chopped, ½ finely diced and reserved for garnish
- 1 cucumber, ½ coarsely chopped, ½ finely diced and reserved for garnish
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme, or ½ teaspoon dried
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh oregano, or ½ teaspoon dried
- 1 avocado, pitted, peeled, and diced, for garnish
- Chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
- Tabasco Sauce
- Salt and pepper
- ½ loaf day-old whole wheat bread, cut into ½- to 1-inch cubes (3 to 4 cups)
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, or ¼ teaspoon dried
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh oregano, or ¼ teaspoon dried Salt ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
For the gazpacho:
1. In a large blender, working in batches if necessary, puree the tomatoes and their juices, vinegar and olive oil. Add in the onion, coarsely chopped bell pepper and coarsely chopped cucumber.
2. Add the thyme, oregano, a dash of Tabasco, and salt and black pepper to taste and puree until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasonings, if necessary. It should be tangy. If needed, add more vinegar or olive oil. Refrigerate the mixture until fully chilled.
3. When you’re ready to serve, bring out the gazpacho. (The colder you serve it, the better!) Garnish with the finely diced bell pepper, finely diced cucumber, avocado and cilantro. Then top off each cup with herbed croutons.
To make the croutons:
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
2. In a large bowl, toss the bread cubes with the thyme, oregano and salt to taste. Drizzle in the olive oil and toss to coat.
3. Spread the croutons out onto a large, rimmed baking sheet and bake until golden and crisp, about 10 minutes.
4. Serve immediately, or store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two days.