Saturday, July 23, 2011

Classic Andalusian Gazpacho

Classic Andalusian Gazpacho aka Raw Chilled Vegetable Soup
Psst: I just want you all to know that I did not enhance the color of this photo in any way- It's that vibrant!

It's Tomato Time!

Nothing beats a fresh raw organic ripe tomato in season. Well maybe there are other things but for me who never really liked raw tomatoes this was a new discovery. Tomatoes were things I would pick out of my sandwich or kick around out of the way in my salad. Who could blame me for not liking tomatoes when my only real exposure to them was in restaurants where you are hardly served a ripe tomato or from grocery stores where it is picked green or so modified where ever it comes from that it hardly has any taste at all.

No. there is a reason to wait for tomato season and then buy locally grown, or better yet from the farmer and indulge in the real deal- Flavor!! 

Take it an extra step and pick up some heirloom tomatoes, which means the seeds are at least over 50 years old and have been handed down the generations or have not been hybridized. There are over 600 varieties of heirlooms!

How many varieties of tomatoes does your grocer carry?

But I'm getting off track....

Back to Gazpacho!

A great way to enjoy the summer harvest vegetables is in Gazpacho, which is a very cooling  and refreshing soup made of raw fresh vegetables that is chilled. Gazpacho originates in the southern region of Andalusia and is a summer staple in Spain, Portugal and other Latin regions.

Traditionally gazpacho was made with raw fresh vegetables, mostly tomatoes, stale bread, garlic and olive oil. It is said that it became popular with field hands as a way to both eat and cool off without cooking and to use up stale bread. Over the years it has morphed into all sorts of cold vegetable combinations but I am going back to the source- the original if you like, but minus the stale bread.

What's kind of fun about Gazpacho is that you can make the basic soup and then pass around the garnish for people to add in any of their favorite flavors, including more oil or vinegar/sherry or more onions. You can have it smooth like a drink or chunky like a salsa. It's all personal.

Classic Gazpacho
Classic Fresh Ingredients

GAZPACHO RECIPE:

2 1/2 lbs ripe tomatoes, cored and quartered
1/2 cucumber peeled
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and quartered
2-3 cloves of garlic, crushed to a paste
2 Tbsp sherry vinegar or wine vinegar, or to taste
4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, or more to taste
1 tsp agave or more to taste, depending on your tomatoes
1 tsp sea salt to taste
Fresh black pepper to taste
Pinch of Cayenne pepper (optional)

GARNISH  
(Optional)
1/2 cucumber peeled and finely diced
1/2 red onion or 4 scallions, finely chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, finely diced
Olive oil
Vinegar
(Or any combination of the above)

Quarter the bell pepper and blend to a paste in a food processor.
Add the rest of the ingredients minus the olive oil and blend until creamy or chunky if you prefer.
Drizzle in the oil while processing.
Place in a glass bowl or jar and cover.
Chill for an hour or up to a day before serving.

To Serve: 
Spoon into bowls and pass round the optional garnish or serve in a glass.

Takes about 10 mins to make this before chilling. This batch made up a quart and a half of soup,
Enough for 4-6 people


Enjoy!

Raw Tomato Gazpacho


8 comments:

WendySmiling said...

Awesome!

Jodi~GettingRaw said...

Thanks Wendy!

Anonymous said...

Now, THAT looks delicious ! I was just looking at my crop of tomatoes wondering what I was going to do with them and I do believe you have help me to resolve that conundrum.
Thank you.
Jason

Jodi~GettingRaw said...

Sigh.... Your own crop of tomatoes, Jason. I would love to have my own crop of tomatoes. Are you going to add JalapeƱos? Would love to hear what you do with it and how it comes out! Thanks for commenting.

kathleen said...

Jodi, your gazpacho looks amazing. I just love raw tomato soups. Today I used your recipe and I added sliced peaches to the blender for extra sweetness...yummy!

Jodi~GettingRaw said...

Thanks Kathleen- The added peaches sound really good!

Frannie said...

What a great way to use the tomatoes from my garden. I just love gazpacho...I can't wait to try your recipe.

You look familiar to me. Are you on Etsy and RawFoodRehab?
If so....ME TOO.

Frannie

Jodi~GettingRaw said...

Hi Frannie, Thanks for the comment! I just love to hear about the gardens people have. Let me know if you try the recipe. Yes- I am an original Raw Food Rehabber and have lots of posts all over the mansion. :-)

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