|Margarita's International Recipes|
I don't like soup and I don't like vegetables - so I wasn't thrilled at the prospect of cold vegetable soup. Yet, Gazpacho is the quintessential dish of Andalusia - and no exploration of the food of the region could skip it. There are many recipes for gazpacho, some of the most innovative incorporate avocado (a fruit once foreign to the region), cilantro and lettuce. I was briefly tempted to make a white gazpacho, made with almonds and garlic, but I finally decided to go the traditional way. Even here I found several recipes, and ultimately I made it from a combination of all of them. It was pretty good - even I had a whole bowl. One ingredient that varies greatly between recipes is the amount of garlic, use less if you don't like garlic and more if you really like it. Some recipes ask for the ingredients to be passed through a strainer after blending - I didn't do that, but if you are going to drink the soup from glasses, you may want to.
Traditional recipes ask for slices of stale bread - by all means use it if you have it. I didn't, so I used fresh bread. All recipes also call for the tomatoes to be peeled and seeded - again, I was too lazy (or too busy) to bother with that, and I just used regular tomatoes. Similarly, you should seed the cucumber, but I didn't. You can garnish the soup with croutons, chopped hard-booiled eggs, scallions, bell peppers, olives and/or cucumber slices.
2 slices of white bread 1 small onion, chopped 4 garlic cloves, chopped 2 tbsp. olive oil 1 tsp. coarse salt 1 cucumber,peeled and chopped 1 red pepper, seeded 5 ripe red tomatoes, cubed 4 tbsp. wine vinegar (red or white) 3 cups ice water
Soak the bread in water and squeeze dry. Put all the ingredients, except for the ice water, in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Dilute it with the ice water, adding salt and vinegar if necessary. Garnish and s0erve cold in chilled bowls.