Perhaps the easiest soup to make, gazpacho is a refreshing uncooked and chilled summer soup with ancient origins and dozens of varieties.
Gazpacho is a staple of the Andalusian region, arriving either with the Romans or from the Arab world through the Moors. Sweltering Spanish summers mean the soup is served cold — not iced, just chilled — and is often sipped as much as a refreshing beverage-cum-appetizer than meal or accompaniment. Locals regard its treatment as a formal soup course a touristy restaurant affectation.
Authentic gazpacho is not chunky or textured, and is rarely served with any garnishes. The Spanish consume it as a smooth, heavy liquid with a light orange-pinkish hue that can be thickened by bread but often consisting of no more than puréed ripe vegetables. The drizzle of quality olive oil produces an emulsion, and when leftover solids are strained out it should have a consistency similar to whole milk or cream.
Tomatoes, mild peppers and cucumbers are the basis for most gazpacho recipes, and contain enough water themselves to create a soupy consistency when blitzed in a blender. Pay attention to the origins of the vinegar and oil, as Spanish olive oils can lend a distinct peppery flavor that should come through in the finish.
Experiment with the proportions of each component, as formal recipes vary by family. Avoid dressing up the soup with spices or trendy expectations.
2 lb tomatoes
1 Anaheim pepper
1 white onion
1 clove of garlic
2 t red wine vinegar
½ c olive oil
1 Peel the cucumber and core the tomatoes. Roughly chop all vegetables to about the same size.
2 Combine all vegetables in a blender and purée until very smooth, at least 2 min.
3 With the motor running, slowly drizzle in the vinegar and oil to form an emulsion.
4 Strain the mixture and discard the solids. Season to taste, and chill before serving.