Gazpacho soup

This weekend was glorious – a welcome little heatwave after a dingy May and June. So much so that on the train back from Brighton, all I could think about was making a batch of cooling, fresh gazpacho.

Gazpacho soup

It’s perfect. It’s like having an enormous Bloody Mary for dinner, but without the nagging risk that your friends will stage an intervention.

Tomatoes, cucumber, a little pepper, plenty of garlic, and some old bread are the core of it. Of course, being peasant food, everything – including the tomatoes – is subject to debate.

As is often the case, Felicity Cloake has done the hard work of untangling all of this so I don’t have to. I more or less just made her recipe.

I won’t give mine in full here – you can check it out online or pick up her book. But I will point up a few little tweaks. My tomatoes, for instance, weren’t quite ripe enough. They were a touch over acid, so I switched out the sherry vinegar for a heavy slug of actual fino sherry. I fucking love sherry.

At this point, of course, I practically was making a bloody mary, so I also added a stick of celery. The freshness of it works, and a single stick doesn’t overpower. The bread was rye, because that’s what I had. But I don’t think it really mattered much. If anything, it darkened the colour, and maybe sweetened a touch. Naturally, I stepped up the garlic.

The garnish is a little chorizo, fried with garlic and slivers of chilli. This is probably overkill, and can entirely be skipped.

Pressing everything through the sieve is a bit of a pain in the cock, but it’s worth it. The gazpacho is perfect for summer evenings with a little bread and wine. Or just the rest of the sherry.

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