Originating in the Spanish region of Andalusia, but popular all over the Iberian Peninsula, gazpacho is a soup made of raw vegetables and served chilled. More of a drink than a soup, this version has no bread and is a creamy, orange-pink color rather than a dull lipstick red.
Last week, I had the pleasure of having gazpacho at our Spanish friends' house! And I asked her her secret because the color was beautiful. Two words: olive oil. She said to add more olive oil than I would think necessary. So, for my girls' brunch yesterday, I decided to give it a try. This is not Susanna's recipe because I forgot to use bread and added vinegar; I also added a splash of honey because there was something bitter about the soup. However, after letting it sit overnight, everything had mellowed and was more balanced.
- 2 pounds ripe red tomatoes, cubed
- 1 bell pepper (I used an orange bell), seeded and cut into chunks
- 1 cucumber, about 8 inches long, peeled and roughly cut into chunks
- 2 cloves fresh garlic, peeled
- 2 t balsamic vinegar, more to taste
- fleur de sel
- ½ C olive oil + more to taste
- 1 t raw honey, if needed
- Also needed: food processor or blender, fine mesh strainer, shot glasses for serving
Work in batches, if necessary. Combine tomatoes, pepper, cucumber, and garlic in a food processor or blender. Blend until very smooth, at least 2 minutes.
With the motor running, pour in the vinegar and 2 teaspoons fleur de sel. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil. The mixture will turn bright orange or dark pink and become smooth and emulsified, like a salad dressing. If it still seems watery, drizzle in more olive oil until texture is creamy. At this point, there was something really bitter about mine, so I added in a tad of honey.
Strain the mixture through a strainer or a food mill, pushing all the liquid through with a spatula or wooden spoon. Discard the solids. Adjust seasoning with salt and vinegar, as needed. Transfer to a glass pitcher or jar and chill until very cold, at least 6 hours or overnight.
Serve in glasses, over ice if desired. You can also add a few drops of olive oil and vinegar on top before serving.