If you’re of a certain age, then you lived through the Great Gazpacho Saturation of the 1980s, when it suddenly appeared on every menu and tasted like thinned-down salsa, or cold spaghetti sauce, or chunky tomato juice—anything but the wonderfully rich, deep, garlicky and complex thing that a true gazpacho is. Brought to the southern region of Spain via North Africa, this recipe is a revelation. Make this soup several hours or up to one day ahead of time for the best flavour and deepest chill!
Serves 4 to 6 – Makes 6 cups
1 loaf crusty bread, a small boule or other rustic loaf, interior crumb picked out (approx. 4 cups)
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1/3 cup very good olive oil
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp pepper
6 ripe tomatoes, approx. 3 cups coarsely chopped
1 red pepper, approx. 2 cups coarsely chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded, coarsely chopped
1 small red onion, approx. 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped
1 cup chilled tomato juice
Pull crumb out from loaf and add to non-reactive bowl, with garlic, oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper; let sit until bread has absorbed the liquids and has softened, about 20 minutes. Save outside of bread for grilling, toasting or turning into crumbs at another time.
Meanwhile, add tomatoes, red pepper, jalapeno and onion to the bowl of a food processor or powerful blender, and purée.
Add mushy bread crumb mixture and tomato juice to food processor; blend with tomatoes and peppers until smooth and fully combined, about 1 or 2 minutes. Taste and adjust for salt and pepper, then chill until ready to serve or to take on the road, at least 2 hours to overnight. Transfer to Mason jars and store, covered, for up to 3 days in fridge.
TIP After a few days in the fridge, leftover gazpacho can be used in cooked dishes: tossed with buttery pasta or zucchini noodles, added to chicken soup, or heated and reduced to a thick sauce.
Photographs by Tristan Peirce
Recipes, text and food styling by Signe Langford
From Hudson, Quebec, now living in Port Hope, Ontario, Signe is a restaurant chef-turned-writer who tells award-winning stories and creates delicious recipes for LCBO’s Food & Drink, Manna Pro Hearty Homestead, The Harvest Commission, and Today’s Parent; she published her first book – Happy Hens & Fresh Eggs; Keeping Chickens in the Kitchen Garden with 100 Recipes – in 2015.