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Tuesday, 12 July 2011

The best cold soup in the whole dang world!

This recipe for gazpacho soup comes to us from

“Today after church we spent a good 20 minutes 
wading through a pile of perfectly ripe vegetables: 
peeling, slicing, dicing, and grinding up what could 
be a fine salad into a superb soup. A soup so excellent 
and unique it has become a national obsession in Spain:

Gazpacho is HUGE down in the south of Spain, where 
every fridge has a big jug of the stuff standing by on the 
top shelf, should tragedy, stress, hunger, or unexpected 
company strike. Gazpacho is comfort food, a 
summertime staple: delicious, nutritious, filling, 
and easy to make and serve. Every mother and 
grandmother has her own recipe for "Authentic" 
gazpacho, and claiming that yours is the best is a 
great way to start a loud discussion.

That said, here is the recipe I use, more or less, to make

The best Expat Gazpacho in Spain

4-inch length of bread cut from a long loaf, de-crusted and 
           set in a bowl of water to soak.
2 pounds very ripe red tomatoes, deseeded and chopped
2 or 3 green peppers, deseeded and chopped (how many 
          depends on how big they are)
1 4-inch cucumber or a couple of pickle-size cukes, 
          peeled and chopped
1 medium sweet onion (Spanish or Vidalia) chopped
3 or 4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped.

Squeeze the water out of the bread. Put the bread together 
with all the vegetables in a food processor and liquefy the lot. 
The kitchen will smell divine. (if you remember, reserve a bit of
chopped pepper, tomato, and onion for garnish later on.)

1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
(MUST-HAVE ingredient, hard to find but worth the search!)
1 cup mild virgin olive oil (drizzle this in slowly at the end to mix well)

Process until smooth, it may require two batches. 
 Stir in 1 cup of cold water. Test for vinegar/salt/sugar balance, 
then pour it into a big pitcher and refrigerate for several hours. 
Stir well and check seasoning again before serving in chilled 
glasses or bowls, with chopped veg on the side as garnish. 
You can add another cup of water if you prefer yours thinner.

This makes a good half-gallon of soup. Keep it cold.

No matter what your mama told you, Gazpacho does NOT 
have tomato juice, hot pepper flakes or Tobasco sauce in it. 
You (and your mama) are thinking of a Bloody Mary. 
Which is not a bad idea, if you made your cocktail before 
you added the extra water... hmmm!".

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