Gazpacho

I’m adding this one-off recipe due to a special request from Twitter. The proprietor of an excellent guesthouse in Northumberland (@LinhopeHouse) let me know that he was on a diet and would like something tasty and low calorie. When I received the tweet I had just finished eating some superchilled gazpacho, with some fresh-baked spelt sourdough. This had been intended as a snack but I felt remarkably full. What could be healthier than what is effectively a raw vegetable smoothie with a ton of garlic? (Alright, the olive oil probably doesn’t make it particularly low calorie but we can’t be anywhere near burger and chips territory.)

It does use a lot of tomatoes and luckily I had just received a batch supply from my Dad’s and my Uncle’s greenhouses. They had also supplied me with some very fresh new garlic. The recipe I used and shown below suggests pulverising three cloves of garlic and then ‘seasoning the soup with it’. However, when I’ve spent time smashing up some garlic I intend to use it all. So I did, and it was very, very garlicky – hot with garlic. Go ahead if that’s what you fancy but if you’d like something less intense it may be worth simmering the garlic for a few minutes in water until just tender, or using less.

The recipe is pretty much entirely based on the one from the first Moro book (I’ve put a photo of the page below so you can see how much fun I was having).

Serves 4

Ingredients

3 garlic cloves, smashed to paste; 1 kg ripe, sweet (homegrown or really good quality) tomatoes; 1 green pepper, seeded, cored and sliced; ¾ cucumber, peeled and sliced (I used half a ridge cucumber, loads of flavour – for a cucumber); ½ medium onion finely grated; 2 handfuls nearly stale white bread, crusts removed; 3 dessertspoons cabernet sauvignon or sherry vinegar; 4 dessertspoons extra virgin olive oil; salt and black pepper

Preparation

Put all the vegetables into a blender  and roughly crumble in the bread. Blend until smooth. To give the soup a smoother texture, push three quarters of the blended mixture through a sieve, then blend back in with the remainder. Now season to taste with the   garlic, olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours until really chilled. Check the seasoning when chilled before serving.

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