My experience with this gazpacho was like going on an exquisitely swoonful first date—where the guy is Jon Hamm-handsome; you trade exceedingly witty, wise and charming discourse; and you wake up the next morning walking on clouds and daydreaming with a silly grin on your face—and then following it up with an even more enchanting second date just days later. Oh yes. It’s that sublime.
I spotted the recipe while flipping through Fine Cooking, and was instantly intrigued that the author was inspired by a handwritten recipe from her Spanish mother-in-law, who hailed from Sevilla, the birthplace of gazpacho. Like she urges, you must wait until the tomatoes are ripe and juicy, or the resulting soup will be flavorless. But when you’ve got a bunch of those sweet, robust, red globes, this is the perfect creamy, refreshing summer treat.
I so craved this gazpacho that I made it twice in four days. In fact the night after I first made it, I finished a mediocre sushi dinner with such longing for the flavors of the gazpacho that I went home, marched right over to the fridge, and poured myself a small cup of the leftovers. Couldn’t help myself, hedonist that I am. It’s all whirled up raw in a blender, so it couldn’t be easier. The first time, I was a bit short on tomatoes, and the soup was very thick (though still superb). Also, I used a pretty big garlic clove, which had a strong, overpowering flavor that didn’t bother me, but wasn’t David’s favorite. The second time, though, I used a smaller garlic clove and I raided the farmstand so I had enough tomatoes on hand and the gazpacho was even better—sweeter, more tomato-y, less viscous.
My best tip is to double or triple the recipe (although you need to whip it up one batch at a time or your blender will be overloaded) and keep it in a pitcher in the fridge. Then whenever the urge strikes, you’re hooked up, baby.
Please let me know if you give it a try!
Adapted from Fine Cooking
- 2 lb. ripe tomatoes, peeled, cored and coarsely chopped (about 4 cups)
- 1/2 large green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and coarsely chopped
- 1/2 large red, yellow or orange bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup packed torn fresh sourdough or Tuscan bread, plus 1/4 cup packed 1/2-inch cubes (crusts removed) for croutons
- 9 tablespoons good-quality extra-virgin olive oil; more for drizzling
- 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
- 1 small clove garlic
- Ground cumin (optional)
- Kosher salt
- Put the tomatoes, bell peppers, torn bread, 6 tablespoons of the olive oil, the vinegar, garlic, and 1 teaspoon salt, and a pinch or two of cumin (if using) in a blender. Pulse until coarsely puréed, then blend until very smooth, 4 to 5 minutes (it may be a bit frothy). Season to taste with salt and refrigerate until very cold, at least 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil in an 8-inch skillet over medium heat. Add a bread cube; if it sizzles immediately, add the remaining cubes (if it doesn’t, continue to heat the oil). Cook croutons, stirring frequently, until golden brown all over. Transfer to paper towels to drain and cool. Store in an airtight container or bag until serving.
- Taste the gazpacho just before serving and adjust the seasonings as needed. Serve drizzled with oil and garnished with the croutons. (You can also top with chopped cilantro or chopped cucumbers and onions if you like.)