Gazpacho Andalus - Andalusian Salad-Soup
by Janet Mendel
- 75 g stale bread (Spanish loaf, not packaged bread), crusts removed
- 1 kg ripe tomatoes, peeled and seeded
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 tsp salt
- pinch of ground cumin
- 6 tbsp olive oil
- 5 tbsp vinegar
- about 300 ml water
For the garnish:
- 100 g green peppers, finely chopped
- 100 g cucumber, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 small tomatoes, finely chopped
- 2 slices bread, toasted and diced
A note about tomatoes: vine-ripened tomatoes are one of Spain’s summertime treats. If possible, buy the big, beefy ones. Even if they are slightly green, they will ripen in a few days. Avoid the all-of-a-size and colour long-life tomatoes. They’re bred for shipping long distances and just don’t have the flavour of the local varieties.
Tomatoes can be skinned before making the gazpacho. Instead of the usual method of dipping them in boiling water, try running the blunt edge of a knife across the skin, then pulling it off. Otherwise, puree the tomatoes, then sieve them to remove skin and seeds.
Put the bread to soak in enough water to cover for 10 minutes. Squeeze out excess water and put the bread in a blender or processor. Cut the peeled tomatoes into chunks and add to the blender with the garlic, salt and cumin. Process until puréed (in two or more batches if necessary). With the motor running add the oil in a slow stream, then add the vinegar. The mixture will thicken and change colour as the oil emulsifies. Add a little of the water and transfer to a serving bowl or pitcher. Stir in water to the desired consistency. Chill until serving time. Place the chopped peppers, cucumbers, onion, tomato and breadcrumbs in individual small bowls or in a divided dish and serve them as accompaniments. Gazpacho may also be served in glasses or mugs for sipping. Omit the garnishes.