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Patricia's Gazpacho (Gazpacho al estilo de Patricia)

  • SERVINGS: 4
  • MAKE-AHEAD
  • VEGETARIAN

José Andrés' wife, Patricia, is from Andalucia, in the south of Spain, a region known for sherry and hams. But not many people know that Andalucia is the cold-soup capital of the world, thanks to gazpacho. Every summer, when you open the refrigerator in his house, you'll see a big glass pitcher right in the middle with this rich, creamy red soup. It's always ready to refresh you on a hot day. Andrés' wife doesn't like to cook and she always tries hard to change the menu at home. But one thing she cooks like the gods is gazpacho. This is her recipe. It's also one of the reasons he married her.

Gazpacho

  1. 2 pounds ripe plum tomatoes (about 10), cut into chunks
  2. 8 ounces cucumber (1 cucumber), peeled and cut into chunks
  3. 3 ounces green pepper, in large pieces
  4. 1 garlic clove
  5. 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  6. Spanish extra-virgin olive oil
  7. Salt

Garnish

  1. 1 tablespoon Spanish extra-virgin olive oil
  2. 1 slice rustic white bread
  3. 6 plum tomatoes, with the seeds, prepared as "fillets"
  4. 8 cherry tomatoes, halved
  5. 1 cucumber, peeled and cut into cubes
  6. 4 pearl onions, pulled apart into segments
  7. 2 tablespoons Spanish extra-virgin olive oil
  8. 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  9. Sea salt
  10. 4 chives, cut into 1-inch pieces
  1. In a blender, combine the tomatoes, cucumber, green pepper, garlic and sherry vinegar and blend until the mixture becomes a thick liquid. Taste for acidity; this will vary with the sweetness of the tomatoes. If it's not balanced enough, add a little more vinegar. Add the olive oil, season with salt, and blend again. Strain the gazpacho into a pitcher and refrigerate for at least half an hour.
  2. In a small pan, heat the olive oil over moderately high heat and fry the bread until golden, about 2 minutes. Break into small pieces to form croutons and set aside.
  3. To serve pour gazpacho into each of 4 bowls. Place 4 croutons, 2 "fillets" of tomatoes with seeds, 4 cherry tomato halves, 3 cucumber cubes and 3 onion segments into each bowl. Add a few drops of olive oil to each onion segment and drizzle a little more around each bowl. Add a few drops of vinegar to each cucumber cube and drizzle a little more around each bowl. Sprinkle sea salt on the tomatoes and sprinkle the chives over the soup. Serve when the gazpacho is refreshingly chilled.
Notes José's tips: If you want to be original, buy yellow or even green tomatoes. Also, if you want to save time, you can simplify the garnishes: Just use a few cubes of cucumber, tomato and green pepper.
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