This was not what was originally planned for today, but having shared pictures of the Gazpacho that we had this weekend, on Instagram and on my personal Facebook page, I was “inundated” with requests for the recipe. I hadn’t made it for a while because our tomato crop last season was underwhelming. To say the least. This year, we’ve been deluged; it’s the time of the year when The Husband hears, “You can have anything you like for supper (or lunch or tea, or breakfast), as long as it’s tomato!”
We also have a surfeit of bell peppers and we have onions and garlic that were harvested late last year.
The original recipe comes from Rose Elliot’s 1994 The Classic Vegetarian Cookbook, published by Dorling Kindersley, and which I bought from Exclusive Books at the Waterfront, not long after I moved to Cape Town a year after it’s publication.*
What I do
Gazpacho is a no-cook dish. The closest one comes to a hot gas stove (in my case, anyway), is boiling the kettle to skin the tomatoes.
I’ve followed that recipe to the word, but as you see from my notes, I’ve also altered things to make it my own. Here are a few of my tips and what I’ve learned in the 20-odd years I’ve been making this:
- unless you’re wanting to make a thick, heavy soup, leave out the bread; I find that if tomatoes are really “beefy”, I still need to add water so that the soup is the right consistency
- if it needs water, chill it first and be careful not to dilute it too much – add a little iced water and taste, repeating until you’re happy with the texture
- in the absence of red onions, I have comfortably used white, but less because white onion is stronger than red. Obviously, if you really like the stronger, raw onion flavour….
- I’ve used red wine vinegar and Balsamic vinegar and my preference is for Willow Creek’s balsamic style Cabernet Sauvignon vinegar; I use an extra 10ml. Again, tasting as you go is important, bearing in mind how the flavours change and develop with chilling and standing
- seasoning is a very personal thing, but I have found that leaving out the seasoning doesn’t detract from the flavour which makes this a very acceptable soup for people who have problems with both gluten and sodium
- make it the night before, or at least a few hours in advance and refrigerate – the flavours meld and the soup benefits from being allowed to stand. A good example of what my father would class as “second-day-soup”, i.e. better the second time round!
- with the vinegar and the high vitamin C content of tomatoes, this keeps very well. I make it in big batches, both for our own consumption or for the market
It’s pretty served in glasses or glass mugs:
Gazpacho: easy, peasy, lemon squeezy.
It seems we’re not the only ones with a glut, so for those looking for other ideas of what to do with tomatoes, I’ll be sharing my bottling recipe and that for passata in a while. It won’t be in the next two weeks as I’ll be travelling and will have limited time for “fiddling” in the kitchen…and on Fiona’s Favourites.
In the meantime, two other ways of using tomatoes:
Ratatouille which is great hot or cold, and uses loads of tomatoes and vegetables currently in season
A fresh tomato sauce that can be bottled or frozen
*No, it’s not on page 32…..
© Fiona’s Favourites 2016