If I haven’t told you already, now would be as good a time as any to tell you that I can eat soup all year round. The soaring summer heat and crazy humidity do little to deter me. But not everyone shares my enthusiasm for piping hot soup in the month of May, so I make peace by whipping up this easy gazpacho. It takes care of my soup cravings and is eaten chilled, which is great for all those around me who can’t bear the thought of eating hot soup in the summer. And I kid you not when I say this is an easy, everyday sort of recipe that you can put together without much effort… isn’t that what summer cooking should be all about?
I’ve had this recipe in my stash since I was in college and watched the gorgeous Padma Lakshmi capture her culinary adventures for the telly. Remember ‘Planet Food’ on the Discovery channel? Yep, that’s where I found this little gem of a recipe and it’s been our summer staple ever since. Minimal ingredients, a few whizzes in the food processor… that’s pretty much all it takes. It all starts with soaking some bread in water, or milk if you’re feeling a bit indulgent. Artisanal bread is great, but I go with whatever I have at hand, sometimes that’s whole wheat bread, and it works just fine!
Why add bread to gazpacho, you wonder? Honestly, bread extra virgin olive oil are what keep this cold soup from tasting like tomato juice! Bread soaked in water adds body and thickens the soup while the oil adds its own characteristic creaminess. A green chilli pepper and some cumin cut through the acidity of the fresh tomatoes. I like to keep things simple when I serve this cold soup… a loaf of fresh bread and perhaps some grilled sausages.
Recipe adapted from Janet Mendel