Returning from our beach holiday to Sydney, the oppressive heat made me feel lethargic and I absolutely did not want to eat anything hot. I had neither the time nor the inclination to do a grocery shop after the drive home, so I had to make to with the slim pickings that I’d brought back in the car with me.I did have some homemade chicken stock in the freezer (which I incidentally needed to use up because the freezer had gone on the blink while we’re away), so I decided to make a variation on a gazpacho.
Gazpacho is a cold soup of raw, blended vegetables, originally from Andalusia in southern Spain. It’s a popular dish during summer because it’s refreshing and cool.Some recipes call for bread soaked in cold water, while others call for tomato juice. The defining ingredients, however, are the silky smoothness of the olive oil, and the sharp acidity of the sherry vinegar. It’s delicious!
In this recipe, you can easily substitute the chicken stock for vegetable stock or water. Chill the soup for a couple of hours before serving in a glass or make it a day ahead to allow the flavours to develop. Add some garlicky croutons and chopped herbs if you wish, but I like the gazpacho just as it is.
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- 2 punnets cherry tomatoes rinsed
- 1 red capsicum rinsed, seeded and chopped coarsely
- 2 Lebanese cucumbers rinsed and chopped coarsely
- 1 eschallot
peeled and chopped (or half a red onion, peeled and chopped)
- 2 fat cloves of garlic
peeled and chopped
- 500 ml cold chicken stock
(or vegetable stock or water)
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 tbsp sherry vinegar
- salt flakes
- freshly ground black pepper
- Toss the vegetables and garlic together in a large deep bowl with a generous sprinkle of salt flakes, the olive oil and sherry vinegar.
- Add the stock or water and blend with a stick blender. If the soup is too thick, add more stock or water.
- Taste it before serving as you may wish to add more salt, vinegar or olive oil.
- Chill the soup for a couple of hours before serving. I like to store mine in glass jars. The soup will keep for three days in the fridge. It is also suitable to freeze.