Cherry Gazpacho

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This truly delicious gazpacho is inspired by Andalusian chef Dani García, who includes sweet cherries in the mix, then tops the summery soup with shaved goat cheese “snow.” Slideshow: More Cherry Recipes 

Cherry Gazpacho
Along with corridas (bullfights) and the wail of flamenco, thirst-quenching coral-pink gazpacho is the defining image of Andalusia, Spain’s sultry southernmost region. Gazpacho has been around since Roman times, at least in its basic form: a cold soup of leftover bread, water, vinegar, garlic and olive oil. Enriched later with New World tomatoes and peppers, it was pounded with massive pestles in a communal bowl to sustain laborers in the fields. Happily, gazpachos have gotten smoother since (gracias, el blender!), though the trick that imparts its velvety texture—soaking the bread in the liquid first—remains fundamental. The new millennium ushered in high-tech versions from creative chefs—spherified, liquid-nitrogenated, deconstructed into foams and gelées. The definitive postmodern version was created by Andalusian whiz-kid chef Dani García: Hot pink and cherry-based, it has a funky accent of anchovies, a bright note of basil oil, pistachios for texture and a flourish of tangy cheese “snow.” It might well be the soup of the century. Where to eat it: García’s cherry gazpacho is on the menu at his tapas brasserie BiBo Madrid. The oxtail brioche there is pretty great, too. .Get the recipe: Cherry gazpacho. Photo: Christopher Testani
Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
5 hrs 30 mins
Yield:
6

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds ripe tomatoes, cored and chopped

  • 1/2 pound sweet cherries, pitted

  • 1 small Italian frying pepper or Cubanelle pepper—stemmed, seeded and chopped

  • 1 1/2 cups day-old cubed crustless rustic white bread (2 ounces)

  • 1/3 cup chopped red onion

  • 1/4 cup sherry vinegar

  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped

  • 1/2 cup plus 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • Kosher salt

  • Pepper

  • 1 cup packed basil leaves

  • Slivered anchovy fillets, chopped pistachios and grated frozen goat cheese, for garnish

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, toss the tomatoes with the cherries, Italian pepper, bread, red onion, vinegar, garlic, 1/2 cup of the olive oil and a very generous pinch each of salt and pepper. Let the gazpacho base stand at room temperature for 2 hours.

  2. In batches, puree the gazpacho base until very smooth, about 2 minutes. Transfer to another large bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.

  3. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan of simmering water, blanch the basil until tender, about 1 minute. Drain well and cool under running water. Squeeze out the excess moisture and transfer to a blender. With the machine on, gradually add the remaining 1/3 cup of olive oil until the mixture is bright green and very smooth. Strain through a fine sieve into a small bowl, then season the basil oil with salt.

  4. Season the gazpacho with salt, adding tablespoons of water if too thick. To serve, spoon the soup into bowls and garnish with slivered anchovy fillets, chopped pistachios, grated frozen goat cheese and the basil oil.

Make Ahead

The gazpacho can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Add a bit of water if it’s too thick.

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