Next level gazpacho
Make the very finest version of this cooling Spanish soup for refreshment on a hot day. It's the perfect starter in a summer menu, or easy lunch
- Serves: 4 persons
- 1kg ripe tomatoes on the vine, roughly chopped
- 2tbsp olive oil
- 2small slices of slightly stale white sourdough
- 1ripe red pepper
- ½cucumber , peeled and finely chopped, plus extra to serve (optional)
- 2-3 tbsp sherry vinegar
- 2garlic cloves , crushed
- 75ml extra virgin olive oil , plus extra to serve
- basil leaves , to serve (optional)
Step 1Put the chopped tomatoes in a large bowl and set aside. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and fry the sourdough until golden, about 2-3 mins on each side, then tear into rough pieces and add to the bowl with the tomatoes.
Step 2Hold the pepper over the flame of the hob using tongs until blackened, 5-10 mins. Turn regularly to ensure the pepper is evenly charred. (Or, do this using a kitchen blowtorch, or blacken under a hot grill.) Transfer the pepper to a food bag, seal and leave to steam for 10 mins. The pepper will have softened. Peel off the skin and discard it with the seeds. Tear the flesh into pieces and add to the tomatoes and bread along with the chopped cucumber, a pinch of sea salt, 2 tbsp of the vinegar and the garlic. Leave for 2 hrs at room temperature for the tomatoes to macerate slightly.
Step 3Pass through a coarse sieve into a jug or bowl. Season to taste, adding more vinegar if needed. Whisk in the extra virgin olive oil, then chill for at least 4 hrs, or ideally overnight. Will keep chilled for three days.
Step 4Serve finished with a grinding of black pepper, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, a little more chopped cucumber and some basil leaves, if you like.