Probably invented in Seville, gazpacho was originally served at the end of a meal. Though there are many versions of this soup, the traditional, tomato-based Andalusian variety is the one you want on a hot afternoon or warm evening. It's salad in a blender, summer in a bowl.
Credit: Christopher HirsheimerSERVES 4
INGREDIENTS1 slice country-style bread, about 1" thick, crusts removed
2 small cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and chopped
2 lbs. very ripe tomatoes, seeded and coarsely chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped
2 tbsp. sherry vinegar
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
½ green pepper, seeded and finely diced
½ cucumber, peeled, seeded, and finely diced
1 cup ½" croutons
½ small white onion, peeled and finely diced
1 small tomato, seeded and finely diced
INSTRUCTIONS1. Soak bread for ½ hour in a small bowl in water to cover. Squeeze out moisture with your hands.
2. Purée bread, cucumbers, tomatoes, garlic, vinegar, olive oil, and 1 cup water in a food processor until very smooth.
3. Push purée through a coarse sieve with the back of a wooden spoon. Gazpacho should be fairly thin. Season to taste with salt.
4. Chill gazpacho in refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Adjust seasoning. Serve in individual glasses, or in soup bowls with garnishes on the side.