Gazpacho - chilled tomato soup

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Try a delicious chilled tomato soup - perfect for those hot summer days - though you can serve it hot as well ... and did I mention that there's no actual cooking involved? All you need is a hand blender and a sieve.

Preparation time: 25 mins
Cooking time: 0 mins

Difficulty: Easy - for beginners
Serves: 5 - 6

Dietary guidance: v v n d 

Tags: soup · appetizer ·


2kg ripe tomatoes
1 15cm piece of regular sized cucumber
1 large bell pepper
4 large cloves of garlic
olive oil, to taste
sherry or balsamic vinegar, to taste
salt, to taste
1 day old French stick
2 slices Serrano ham (for a garnish, if you don't do veggie food)


Roughly chop the tomatoes, removing the top 'core'.

Peel and rough chop the cucumber.

Same again for the pepper, removing the inner membranes which can be a little bitter.

Zap all the above ingredients and the garlic, until they form a liquid - you may have to do this in batches if you're using a hand blender.

Pass the liquid through a sieve into a large bowl (since the final volume is going to be around 3 litres), using a spoon to press it through - reserve the stuff that doesn't go through easily.

When this stage is finished, give the reserved pulp another zap with your blender and pass it through the sieve again - whatever's left can be thrown away.

Depending on the flavour of your olive oil, you'll need to add around 70 - 100ml - just glug away then have a taste.

Similarly, add around 10 - 20ml of vinegar - tasting to make sure it doesn't become the dominating flavour.

Same with the salt - hard to say how much you'll need since it depends on how flavourful your tomatoes are - but don't be afraid to add enough!

Once you get the balance of flavours right, rough cut the bread and start adding it to the mix - zapping with the blender as you go along.

Be careful not to add too much bread - you want the soup to get to a consistency whereby it isn't runny but not so thick that it doesn't fall off the spoon.

Store the soup in an recycled water bottle and chill it down in the fridge.

If you're feeling particularly adventurous fry some small pieces of Serrano ham in some olive oil to use as a garnish.

Err, enjoy.

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