This gazpacho has no onion or garlic because when it’s hot, or I’m on holiday where there are plentiful delicious tomatoes and peppers, I make this a huge amount – and often have it throughout the day. Garlic (or even onions) for breakfast is a little too much for me. The older I get, the simpler I want my recipes to be and I particularly love this one which takes under 5 minutes from start to finish and is super fresh, easy and I think, with good ingredients, utterly delicious.
Usually tomatoes — and things made with them — are best served at room-temperature but this is an exception, best served really cold. In fact I often put it into a jug and then in the freezer for an hour or so and then into the fridge to pour straight from there (often into tumblers with an ice cube or two) any time of day.
If I want to add protein to make it more substantial, I hard boil an egg or two per person and make a puree of the yolks in the bottom of a bowl, (with maybe a teaspoon of Dijon mustard, but not always) and then add a little of the tomato to loosen it before pouring over the rest. The egg whites are then chopped and added into the top of each bowl or glass with the ice cubes and maybe a swirl of extra virgin olive oil. At the other end of the texture spectrum, if I want something rather chic, I use just the same basic ingredients, but push the soup through a fine sieve or even a muslin so you get a clear, brilliant-coloured and flavoured chilled soup.
This recipe is not precise, so you don’t have to be careful about quantities. Just put everything in a food processor together and whizz. It’s good served with oatcakes or a bruschetta (or simply olive oil drizzled and salt sprinkled bread) if you want something to soak it up with.
- 1 small red pepper (about 75–100g), deseeded and coarsely chopped
- 300g tomatoes, ideally a mix of varieties, with cherry tomatoes and beef varieties if available
- 1/2 cucumber (about 150–200g), roughly chopped
- 2 tbsp vinegar, I tend to use red wine vinegar or live apple cider with the mother
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for serving (optional)
- Sea salt and black pepper
Put the pepper, tomatoes and cucumber into a food processor and whizz until pretty smooth (couple of minutes). I don’t bother to peel anything, as if the veg is home-grown or bought, organic, the skins are good for us too. Add the vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper and blitz again. Pour into a jug and cool before you serve.