Though technically a Spanish food, gazpacho as we know it would not exist without the introduction of New World tomatoes into Old World cuisine. The quality of the gazpacho rests in the tomatoes you select. Make gazpacho only at the peak of tomato season; use the freshest, ripest tomatoes you can find.
5 or 6 medium tomatoes, cut into eighths
1/2 cucumber, cut into chunks
1 small bell pepper, quartered
1/2 medium onion, cut into chunks
3 or 4 cloves of garlic
a hunk of stale, crusty bread–the leftover end of a baguette works well
red wine vinegar
Combine the first six ingredients in a 5-cup blender jar. Make the gazpacho in batches. if your blender jar holds less, using half the amount of each ingredient at a time. Blend on high speed until pureed. The bread acts as a thickener; blend until the liquid absorbs all of the bread. Now for the tedious part: straining. Balance a fine meshed sieve over a bowl. Pour a small amount of puree into the sieve; stir and press until all the liquid strains into the bowl. Discard the remaining seeds and peel.
Continue until all of the puree is strained. Add a splash of oil and vinegar and salt to taste. Chill the gazpacho until serving time.
Plain gazpacho tastes wonderful, but some folks prefer theirs chunky. Set out dishes of diced tomatoes, cucumbers, bell pepper, onions, and garlicky croutons, and let them help themselves. SHARE With Your Friends: