When the weather turns warm, perhaps you make the transition to iced coffee for your morning cup. Consider now a similar option for your soup consumption: gazpacho. The chilled soup, originating in Andalusia, is the ideal concoction to combat the heat of the afternoon sun in southern Spain or wherever you may find yourself in this world.
The version attempted here is all fresh vegetables and ripe tomato, accentuated by olive oil and sherry vinegar in a flavorful emulsion. For a creamier consistency than what you see here, use additional olive oil and put everything through a more vigorous blending experience.
Total Time: 20 minutes-ish of activity, additional 30 minutes of free time. Makes about 4 servings.
1. Cut and chop away at the cucumber, red bell pepper, tomatoes, shallot, and garlic. Place some of the pieces of cucumber and pepper aside for serving. Add all the other bits to a large bowl.
2. To that bowl add sherry vinegar and a tablespoon of salt, mixing everything about, and let it sit for 30 minutes to meld flavors. Use this time for any purpose, be it utterly necessary or completely frivolous.
3. Pour the bowl's contents and all the juices into a blender or food processor. With the motor running, drizzle in the olive oil and a few pinches of salt. Continue to drizzle until you've reached the desired creaminess.
4. Strain the mixture through a sieve and push all the liquid through with a spatula (it should be noted, the above example did not go through this full process; next time). Discard any remaining solids and transfer the liquid to a pitcher or bowl. Allow to cool for at least an hour, or overnight, if you're ahead of the game.
5. To serve, divide amongst bowls and top with pieces of cherry tomatoes, cucumber, red pepper, chives or cilantro, another drizzle of olive oil, cracked black pepper, and piment d'Espelette.
Recipe adapted from Bon Appétit.