Gazpacho is a bit like chocolate chip cookies – people fall into different camps. For cookies, there’s chewy, crispy, dough-y, soft, and a hybrid soft-chewy. For gazpacho, there’s chunky (word choice, I know, ugh), liquid-y (resembling a tomato juice), or thick and creamy. I am a fan of the latter: creamy, slightly vinegar-y gazpacho that has been pureed and topped with croutons and diced vegetables for added crunch. This recipe calls for almonds and a little bit of bread, which not only add thickness but also give the gazpacho a beautiful orange-pink color.
When you make this, don’t be afraid to tweak the ingredient amounts according to your own taste. The quality of your vegetables can also have a big impact on the flavor, so if your tomatoes are a little bland and the soup needs more punch, a little more salt here, a little more vinegar there, another clove of garlic, will go a long way. I topped the chilled gazpacho with homemade croutons, cucumber, and tomato, but you can use any crunchy vegetable you’d like (some basil would look nice too, if you have it on hand).
- For the Gazpacho:
- 2 pounds tomatoes, chopped
- 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 medium cucumber, peeled and chopped
- ½ medium/large red onion or 1 small red onion, chopped
- ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- ⅓ cup almonds
- One slice white bread, crusts discarded and torn into pieces (I used Portugese bread)
- 4 tablespoons sherry vinegar (plus more to taste)
- 1 medium fresh jalapeño, seeded and chopped
- 3 garlic cloves
- Salt and black pepper
- For the Homemade Croutons:
- Leftover bread (any kind will work - I used the Portugese bread that went in the gazpacho), diced into small cubes
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Reserve a little bit of the cucumber and tomato for garnish. Place all ingredients in a blender or Cuisinart (you may need to work in batches). Puree until smooth and add salt and pepper to taste. Adjust seasoning as desired; you may need more vinegar or an extra clove of garlic, to taste.
- Chill gazpacho in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours before serving, or until very cold.
- Meanwhile, make the croutons. Preheat the oven or toaster oven to 350 degrees F. Drizzle the diced bread with the olive oil, and bake for 10 - 15 minutes, or until croutons are golden brown. These will keep in an airtight container for 3 - 5 days.
- To serve, garnish the gazpacho with croutons, chopped cucumber, and tomato, and drizzle with olive oil.
Recipe adapted from Slate’s Gazpacho by L.V. Anderson