There's little more summery than beautiful ripe tomatoes like these from The Tomato Stall on Marylebone Farmers' Market. These beauties were sweet and packed with flavour - just perfect for our Gazpacho starter for the Nom Nom Nom 2009 final.
Gazpacho is a cold Spanish tomato soup which originated in the southern region of Andalucía. It is a perfect refreshing summer dish, especially on a hot sunny day. I can picture myself now sat outside in the garden, the sunshine beaming down, a glass of chilled fino in my hand and a small bowl of vibrant, fresh gazpacho in front of me... (if only the summer would come back to London!).
I'd tried gazpacho in the past and never been particularly enamored with it. That was, until I spent 2 weeks in Andalucía earlier this year. If you have the best, fresh, ripe ingredients it is simply delicious. And what's more, it couldn't be simpler to make.
What better way to kick off our seasonal summer menu for the Nom final?!
1/2 cucumber (we used a lovely organic spiky one on the day
1 sweet red pepper
1 yellow or orange pepper
1/2 red onion
1/2 red chilli (or more if you prefer your gazpacho to pack a punch
2 cloves garlic
2 tbsp good quality sherry vinegar
100ml good fruity olive oil
1 tsp muscavado sugar (you may need more or less depending on how sweet your tomatoes are
worcestershire sauce (to taste)
salt & pepper
Roughly chop the tomatoes, peppers (seeds and stalk removed), cucumber, red onion, garlic, red chilli, olive oil, sugar and vinegar. Put it all in a blender and blend until it's as smooth as it will go. Put a seive over a bowl and seive the soup mixture to remove all the skin and pips - you will probably need to push it through with a spoon.
You should be left with a smooth soup which you can season to taste with salt, pepper, worcestershire sauce, more sugar (if needed), etc.
Pop it in the fridge to chill until you are ready to serve.
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