Wednesday, July 13, 2011

KEEPING COOL WITH GAZPACHO

A quick flight from Milan landed us in sunny Madrid.  With not a cloud in the sky, this incredibly beautiful city was a vision: the storybook castle, Palacio Real de Madrid, was steps from our hotel so we spent the morning exploring the Palace's gorgeous interiors.  The city was a steaming hot 42 degrees Celsius. (when we finally did the math we realized that it was 107 degrees!)  Needing to cool off, we considered a quick dip in the fountain outside the Palace but we decided instead to take refuge in a restaurant with lots of air conditioning and hopefully delicious food.  

I was melting away and needed a cold infusion immediately. A chilled bowl of gazpacho soup seemed to be the perfect panacea to the heat wave. The gazpacho I've had in the States is usually chunky, more along the lines of a refined salsa but the soup in Spain was smooth and delicate--so perfect I had thoughts of bathing in the sublime juice. Served with a trio of condiments; little bits of Spanish ham, chopped cucumbers and peppers, the tiny crunch was the perfect foil to the soup's velvety texture.  


If it's heating up where you live, consider a cool bowl of gazpacho, and if your still hot, take a little siesta!



Smooth Spanish Gazpacho Soup



  • 3 lbs. very ripe tomatoes
  • 1 small cucumber, peeled and seeded
  • 5-inch long piece of baguette or two slices of white bread
  • 1 clove garlic (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp. good quality red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. sherry vinegar
  • 1/2 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional Garnishes:
  • Cucumber(diced)
  • Red pepper (diced)
  • Cubed Spanish Ham
    1. Whirl tomatoes, cucumber, bread, garlic (if you like), red wine vinegar, and sherry vinegar in a blender until very smooth. Note that you will need to do this in two or three batches depending on your blender.
    2. Run tomato puree through a food mill or fine-mesh sieve to remove bitter skins and seeds and ensure an extremely smooth texture.
    3. Whirl tomato mixture in a blender again, adding olive oil this time (you will need to do this in two batches). Add salt and pepper to taste. Cover and chill at least four hours and up to overnight.
    4. Serve chilled with an assortment of garnishes. Allow each diner to garnish their own bowl of gazpacho.
    5. Serves four.

7 comments:

pretty pink tulips said...

I so love gazpacho and I plan on having it for lunch tomorrow!! Le Pain Qoutidien does a great job with theirs!

I hear we have some friends in common - that are in NYC during the year and in Rye for the summer. We'll have to catch up on that when you're home!!

Enjoy your magnificent journey!
xo Elizabeth

KMS said...

Love a new gazpacho recipe - can't wait to try this one out this weekend.

Stephanie @ La Dolce Vita said...

It would hit the spot today! But 107 degrees? Yikes!

Vanessa@Luxuria said...

Yaayyy! You've arrived in my adopted country. Your photo and recipe for gazpacho are PERFECT!! There are so many "bastardized" versions out there (typically adapted for cheapness), but yours is exactly as the typically Spanish grandmother makes it.

The enchanted home said...

Looks AMAZING!! Never been to Spain but it sure is high on my list. This looks just spectacular despite the heat, hopefully the humidity too is not so high? Wishing you a wonderful trip and thank you for the yummy sounding recipe..safe travels!

jeanette from everton terrace said...

I don't know why but I've never tasted gazpacho. It looks delicious (without the ham for me). I have wanted to visit Spain since my daughter went a few summers ago, still on my list :)

quintessence said...

What a wonderful European tour you're having. I've never been to Madrid but it looks lovely. Thank you for the wonderful looking recipe. Stay cool!!