Chilled soups are a great way to beat the heat and they’re ideal for picnics – just pack some in a thermos and you’re good to go! I like gazpacho but, as with many things, tried a lot of different proportions and techniques until I came up with a recipe that I will now stick with forever. Mashing the hot hard boiled egg into the garlic makes a big difference; it cooks the garlic just slightly so it doesn’t overwhelm the soup with a harsh, raw flavour. I also like to include some beef or vegetable stock to add a richness to the soup and balance out the acid of the tomatoes. Soaking the breadcrumbs in tomato juice also gives the soup a pleasing consistency. I usually dice the vegetables quite finely so I don’t have to purée the gazpacho as much as I find it’s nice to have a little bit of texture in the finished product. Try serving gazpacho in sherry or shot glasses for a more elegant presentation of this healthy, easy to enjoy soup.
¼ teaspoon salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups finely chopped fresh plum or Roma tomatoes
1/2 cup finely chopped green pepper
1 cup finely chopped English cucumber
1/4 cup minced red onion
2/3 cup good quality olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
2 cups beef stock (or vegetable stock), chilled
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup finely minced parsley and/or dill, basil, etc.
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
Pepper, coarsely ground
1 46-oz can low sodium tomato juice
1/2 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs) or gluten-free bread crumbs
Tabasco, to taste
Garnish (optional): chopped parsley, diced cucumber, crumbled feta
- Place egg in small pot of cold water, bring to boil, and let simmer for 10 minutes (note that you can omit the egg for a vegan version).
- Take ½ cup of the tomato juice and combine in a small bowl with the panko or other bread crumbs. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine tomatoes, pepper, cucumber, red onion, olive oil, lemon juice, beef or vegetable stock, red wine vinegar, parsley, oregano, Worcestershire, and coarsely ground black pepper to taste. Stir.
- Place garlic in a saucer and sprinkle with the salt.
- When egg is finished cooking, run it quickly under cold water then remove the shell and immediately add it – still hot – to the garlic and salt. Mash together with a fork.
- Add tomato juice, tomato juice and panko mixture plus garlic and egg mixture to the bowl of vegetables.
- Stir and then taste for seasoning; add Tabasco to taste.
- With a stick blender, regular blender or food processor, purée the gazpacho in batches until you achieve the desired degree of smoothness. Sometimes I like to puree just half of the gazpacho then recombine with the unpuréed portion.
- Chill for at least 4 hours or up to 3 days to let flavours blend, then serve. Garnish as desired.
Serves 8 – 12.