What is summer without gazpacho? I went to Spain two years ago and you really can't go anywhere without seeing it. They sell gazpacho in little to go cans like it is v8. Can't say that it was some amazing thing I have never tasted. I tried it I think twice in a little over a two week span and that was fine. I remember the gazpacho being average tomato water served with chopped onions and a few other accompaniments like bread. Early in my culinary career I was taught that is was a cold tomato and cucumber soup with parsley and maybe a few other ingredients like vinegar and peppers. My version of course is a little different then what Spaniards would call traditional but that is what chefs do. They take basic ideas and make it their own. I think this is one of the best Gazpacho's and it is a perfect, simple way to use some of your garden vegetables. That is exactly where this recipe comes from and anyone can make this recipe. I took a little extra time on my presentation to give it a more elegant look but obviously you can serve it any way you want. My passion and experience is fine dining and that is what I still want to produce. Always have your flavors perfect and then you can worry about your presentation. Here is the recipe
7 heirloom tomatoes quartered
2 cucumbers peeled and chopped
1 shallot chopped
3 garlic cloves
1 red jalapeno sliced
1 piece of large sourdough bread
1/3 cup of water
4 tbsp of sherry vinegar
5 tbsp of olive oil
1 avocado parisienne scoop balls
1 cup of cherry tomatoes halved
1 cup of yellow tear drop tomatoes blanched and peeled
1/2 small cucumber sliced paper thin
2 tbsp of olive oil
Sourdough croutons either diced or sliced 1 cup
cilantro flowers, cilantro leaves, rosemary leaves
For the Gazpacho,
Simply add water, tomatoes, cucumbers, shallot, garlic, and jalapeno to a vita mix blender. Puree for 30 seconds first on low and then on high. Add the vinegar and good tbsp of salt. Puree again for a minute. Then while the blender is on drizzle in the olive oil. Stop and check the seasoning. Adjust the salt if need be and or vinegar. You shouldn't need any pepper because of the spiciness from the jalapeno, raw garlic, and vinegar. I like mine a little thick but if you need to add a little water then do so. The gazpacho should be nice and smooth. Place in the refrigerator to get cold. ( about an hour or two) I think the soup actually gets better the next day but you can use it later on.
For the garnishes
Blanch yellow tomatoes by scoring the skin with a knife on the bottom of the tomato. Then place in boiling salted water for 15 seconds. Strain out and submerge in a ice bath to stop the cooking. The skin of the yellow tomatoes should come right off. Drain and dry the tomatoes.
For the croutons,
In the second picture I served the soup with paper thin sliced sourdough croutons. Simply take 6 slices of bread and place in a large saute pan on medium low heat with 2 tbsp of melted butter and 2 tbsp of olive oil. Cook the bread slowly for about 3 to 4 minutes on both sides until golden brown and crispy. Season with salt and pepper and set aside. To make diced croutons do the same but dice the bread and bake in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes until golden brown. I actually made both so that is why I'm including both options. The key is to have crunchy bread that is what gives a lot of texture and flavor while you are eating the soup.
Place the cherry tomatoes and yellow tomatoes in a bowl. Drizzle with 1 tbsp of olive oil and season with salt. Place them around a bowl. Then take your avocados and season with salt and place them around the bowl. Add your cucumbers and flowers to garnish. Then place the soup into a gravy boat and when you serve your guess your can pour the soup at the table. You can then add your bread or serve it on the side. Finish the soup with a tbsp of olive oil and enjoy!