Recipe: Spanish Gazpacho

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Around the World in 30 Soups: This month we’re collaborating with chefs, cookbook authors, and our own Kitchn crew to share a globetrotting adventure in soups from countries and cuisines around the world. Today’s stop: Spain.

For the soup most associated with Spain in the popular imagination, we turn to one of Spain’s most famous cooks of all — Ferran Adrià. But don’t worry; no molecular gastronomy is involved. This recipe is from his book The Family Meal, a gem filled with practical Spanish classics he feeds his restaurant staff. Simple, perfect, easy.

Gazpacho — the classic and refreshing Spanish soup that’s served chilled — is most often associated with the warm days of summer. But with so many versions of it, gazpacho is something that can be enjoyed any time of year.

“We have gazpacho on the menu year-round,” says Mat Schuster, chef at Canela in San Francisco. “Many people think of the traditional tomato gazpacho, which comes from the south of Spain where it’s hot in the summer, so gazpacho is used as a cooling first course. But there are tons of variations on it.”

Schuster explains that the most common ingredients are Spanish olive oil, garlic, onion, a dash of vinegar, and some bread — and then the rest is up to you.

Depending on the season, maybe you swap in avocado, cucumber, or zucchini. (Here are more ideas to get you started.) In chef Ferran Adrià’s version below, mayonnaise is an unusual ingredient, but we like the creaminess it adds to the final dish.

Gazpacho

Makes 6 cups

Serves 6

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 3

    garlic cloves

  • 2

    small onions

  • 1

    small cucumber (about 2 ounces)

  • 1

    small red bell pepper (about 3 ounces)

  • 2 1/4 pounds

    ripe tomatoes

  • 1 ounce

    crustless white bread

  • 1/2 cup

    water

  • 2 tablespoons

    olive oil, plus extra to serve

  • 1 tablespoon

    sherry vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons

    mayonnaise

  • 4 ounces

    croutons

Instructions

  1. Peel and cut each garlic clove in half. Remove the green shoot inside, if there is one.

  2. Fill a small saucepan with cold water and add the garlic. Bring the water to a boil. When the water begins to boil, lift the garlic out of the water and into a bowl of iced water to quickly cool it. Repeat this twice, always starting with cold water in the saucepan.

  3. Peel the onion and cut in half, then cut into large chunks. Peel the cucumber. Cut in half, then into large pieces. Halve the pepper, and remove the seeds and white membranes. Chop the pepper, then set along with the cucumber and onion. Cut the tomatoes into large wedges and put in a bowl with onions, cucumbers and peppers.

  4. Add the bread, torn into pieces, then pour over the water. Process everything together using a hand-held blender, or use a food processor. Strain the gazpacho through a fine meshed sieve.

  5. Add the oil, vinegar, and mayonnaise, then whisk or blend the soup until smooth and creamy. Season with salt and pepper. Chill in the fridge before serving (at least 2 hours).

  6. Serve the gazpacho in soup with bowls with croutons, plus an extra drizzle of olive oil.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: Gazpacho can be made ahead and frozen. Defrost it in the fridge overnight and rewhisk to combine.

Reprinted with permission from The Family Meal: Home Cooking with Ferran Adrià by Ferran Adrià from Phaidon Press.

(Image credit: Courtesy of Phaidon Press)

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