Food

Easy Gazpacho

Last week I enjoyed a rare solo night out at Must Winebar for the launch of its January promotion: Cool For Cats. If you need a reason to start your night out early, then this is it! From 4pm to 7pm, the crew at Must are serving up a special bar menu along with nicely priced gin cocktails. Check out Perth Munchkin‘s write-up for more details, but the important keywords are: gin, ribs, sangria and gazpacho.

Gazpacho

Another lovely bonus of the night was being given a wee bottle of Sipsmith Gin which I’m looking forward to sculling down on the last week of the school holidays using in a few fun summer recipes. Something else that got me inspired at Cool For Cats was Chef Russell Blaikie’s flavour-packed gazpacho shots. I’d forgotten how utterly refreshing this cold Spanish soup was.

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Russell Balikie’s Gazpacho shots – photo courtesy of Must Winebar & Danica Zuks

I’ve made gazpacho a few times before but each time I end up worrying about whether I was making it the right way or not. Some recipes call for red capsicums to be used, whereas others suggest using sugar or balsamic vinegar for taste. This time I decided to use the basic recipe featured in my Spanish cuisine bible (Made in Spain by José Andrés), tweak it a little, and accept that there’s no absolute right way to make a gazpacho. Once you get over that nugget, this soup is as simple as it gets. What you do need for a good gazpacho however is a very powerful blender or Thermomix, and access to very ripe tomatoes and capsicum for maximum flavour. Some recipes suggest peeling the tomatoes after blanching in boiling water but I don’t see the need given the Thermomix blitzes everything perfectly and I’m sure a blender would do the same.

Gazpacho

Only the best olive oil should be used for gazpacho and if you can’t get hold of sherry vinegar, then a red wine or balsamic vinegar can be used. I personally hold back on the garlic when used raw as the sharpness isn’t to my liking. That’s why I don’t use raw onions in my gazpacho either. Fortunately, I often find the soup has a nicer, subtle flavour in subsequent days after making it once the raw garlic has mellowed, so you may wish to add more garlic if that’s your thing :) Gazpacho can be served up with some extra cucumber and cherry tomatoes, with croutons to garnish. I often make mine into a complete meal by adding cooked prawns and avocado in the centre like some sort of prawn cocktail soup. Simple and refreshing. It’s all you want on a hot summer’s night. That is, if you can’t get out to Must and let Russell take care of the food! Disclaimer: Invitation to the launch was extended to me via a PR agent on behalf of Must Winebar.

Easy Gazpacho
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • ½ clove of garlic (use up to 2 cloves if preferred)
  • 2 slices of day-old bread (I used sourdough)
  • 200g cold water
  • 50g sherry vinegar (20g if using balsamic). You can adjust to taste later.
  • 1 continental cucumber, peeled and deseeded (or 2 Lebanese cucumbers)
  • 4 ripe tomatoes
  • ⅓ cup of tinned tomato or tomato puree (if desired, as a flavour booster if tomatoes not fully ripe)
  • 1 medium green capsicum
  • ½ medium red capsicum (or swap amounts with green capsicum for a more red gazpacho)
  • 50g olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Run Thermomix on Speed 10 and drop garlic clove through the lid.
  2. Stop TMX and place bread in TMX bowl. Blitz on Speed 6 for a a couple of seconds until roughly torn up.
  3. Add water to TMX bowl and allow bread and garlic to soak for five minutes.
  4. Add all ingredients in TMX bowl and blitz on Speed 9 for one minute or until very smooth.
  5. Season further if required with salt and pepper.
  6. Transfer gazpacho to sealed container and chill for a few hours before serving. Soup is very good the following day so consider making in advance.

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. ChopinandMysaucepan

    January 17, 2014 at 11:35 am

    Dear Monica,

    “LIke some sort of prawn cocktail soup” LOL. I like your thinking and we should make a meal out of everything in life.

    Nice looking gazpacho by the way.

    • Moni

      February 3, 2014 at 10:22 am

      Thanks ;) If food isn’t fun, I don’t like eating (as much, anyway lol).

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