Back when things were still fairly unconnected I grabbed my backpack and headed to Spain. It was an interesting time of finding out a bit more of who I was. I called my buddy from France we traveled from north to south and ate everything along the way. It was when we landed in Seville that I had my first proper gazpacho.
From there I ran through a dozen gazpacho recipes. Some gazpacho too soupy, some too similar to Pico de Gallo. It took me a few months but I finally managed to craft a strong contender in the land of gazpachos. It has strong Spanish flavors and subtle Middle Eastern notes.
The Three Tenets for a Gazpacho Recipe
Make gazpacho in the summer months. It’s refreshing and perfect for a brunch or late lunch. And don’t forget, there are generally three tenets for a fantastic gazpacho recipe:
#1 Fresh Tomatoes
Home-grown tomatoes, farmer’s market variety or even Wholefoods are absolutely critical. The color, citric acid and sugars are paramount in order to create a stellar Gazpacho. Again, this is the foundation of the entire soup. Don’t mess it up this early by buying cardboard or canned tomatoes.
You must have a cucumber that is in season – the kind that is never bitter, plenty of juice, crisp and just Dougy fresh. Fresh is the word.
#3 Fresh Oregano and Toasted Cumin
This imparts some serious herbal notes into the soup. I don’t like to over do it and have a medicinal taste so using a sprig or so will marry the bitter, fragrant herb with the citric acid in the gazpacho. The cumin adds an equally distinct flavor that is unparalleled which is why so many cultures use it.
In the end you will have sour (citric acids), sweet (sugars), bitter, salty, cold combination that really satisfies you on that hot summer day. It’s a nice cool blanket of deliciousness wrapped around your belly. Add in a bottle of Viognier and you’re set.
- 1 quart of home-grown tomatoes
- 1 cucumber cubed/diced
- 1/2 red onion & 1 Serrano pepper diced
- A quick mix of 2 teaspoons high grade Balsamic vinegar and Worcestershire
- One big fat pinch of ground cumin
- A twig of fresh oregano
- 1 lime rolled and juiced
- A couple of long pulls of extra virgin olive oil
- Toasted crackers
- I top it off with some seared shrimp with just garlic powder and cumin. Totally optional.
- The tomatoes need to be blanched in salt water. This will frame the entire dish. Again, the color, citric acid, sugars and umami are paramount here. I puree half of this to create the base of the soup.
- I love the cool, fresh texture that "pepinos" have to offer. Dice these along with the onion and pepper. This will add to the texture and presentation. Toss them in along with any cucumber juice from the cutting board.
- Mix 2 teaspoons high grade Balsamic vinegar and 2 teaspoons of Worcestershire. Toss that in.
- Add one big fat pinch of ground toasted cumin and a sprig of freshly fried oregano.
- Roll and juice one lime. Add that in.
- Lastly a couple of long pulls of extra virgin olive oil with some freshly cracked Tellicherry pepper and you are set.