When it is too hot in the bus to consider cooking, nothing hits the spot like gazpacho. It really is the perfect summertime dish, a raw and vegan soup filled with the vibrant tastes of fresh produce. Look, I know that putting raw and vegan in the description doesn’t exactly sell most folks, but believe me, this soup is fantastic. Serve it alongside some bread, olives, Manchego, Spanish chorizo, and a few bottles of wine, and you have yourself a perfect summer evening.
2 lbs. Roma tomatoes (around 6), peeled
1 cucumber, peeled
½ red bell pepper
1 clove garlic
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
¼ cup good olive oil
¼ cup water
¼ tsp ground cumin
½ cup soaked and drained stale bread
Salt, to taste
The first step is to soak your stale bread. Estimate about ½ cup of the bread and drop it in a bowl of water until it is quite soft. Then squeeze the excess water out of it and set it aside.
The vegetables can all be chopped roughly and added to the blender. Then drop in the rest of the ingredients and puree until smooth. Gazpacho is best when silky smooth, which can be hard to accomplish with a small blender like ours. Adding more olive oil seems to help, as well as blending in several stages. You can also strain the soup through a sieve to remove any bits of skin from the tomato or red pepper.
Some say that gazpacho should be served straight away, but I like to keep it in the refrigerator for a few hours to allow it to chill and let the flavors meld.
Serve cold in small portions, garnished with fresh parsley, olive oil, and a few crunchy croutons for texture.