I am savoring every last moment of summer, and the local tomatoes are the highlight of my favorite summer soup, Gazpacho. I learned how to cook this in Spain, when I lived in the college town of Salamanca. While there are several versions, some including day old bread that is soaked in water, mine is simple and very easy (no blanching, chopping). But there are a few things that truly make this taste authentic and flavorful; organic tomatoes, Persian cucumbers (sometimes called Kirby cucumbers) and Sherry vinegar. If you want to get fancy you can strain it before serving, but I love it thick and a tiny bit pulpy.
Classic Spanish Gazpacho (Tomato Cucumber Soup)
4-5 large organic tomatoes (preferably heirloom or local, in season varietal, here’s how to pick them)
5 medium sized Persian cucumbers, skin on
1/2 green bell pepper
1/2 red onion
2 tbsp Sherry vinegar (start with this, taste after it’s blended and add more if you want it more tangy)
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Roughly chop all the vegetable ingredients. Place in a very high powered blender, along with a generous pinch of salt and a little pepper, the sherry vinegar, and puree. While it’s blending, add the olive oil so it emulsifies. Taste and adjust seasoning, adding salt and vinegar as needed. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.