The first time I had summer gazpacho I was at a graduate student pot-luck and a Basque colleague of mine brought some. Being very Basque and not at all Andalusian, "Ivan" just put in all the veggies from his fridge, including carrots and broccoli into his blender, chilled the result and called it gazpacho. I learned something that day about the strength of Spain's regional identities. Even I knew more about Andalusian Gazpacho than "Ivan", at least enough not to puree raw broccoli into soup! Needless to say, it took me years to ever try it again. I'd trust "Ivan" with Basque Bacalao a la Vizcaina any day, but not this southern Spanish delight. The real deal is a drinkable version of mixed salad with vinaigrette dressing. For a really funny gazpacho ingredient list that includes sleeping pills, see "Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown" by Pedro Almodovar.
My ingredient list looks like this:
1 medium cucumber, peeled
1 medium red onion, peeled
2 medium garlic cloves, peeled
3 medium tomatoes, cored
2 roasted red bell peppers, seeded**
2 slices of sturdy, day old bread
1/4 cup Spanish sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Easy recipe reminder: You do not have to take the trouble to peel the tomatoes or peppers nor do you have too seed the cucumber as the soup will be strained before serving.
**Seeded raw red peppers work well too and they are more traditional, but if you have the roasted ones on hand, do add them as they give the soup a richer taste and color.
Soak the bread in ice water to cover, squeeze out. Place the vegetables and bread in the bowl of a large food processor. Process at high for 1 minute until you have achieved a smooth tomato sauce-like texture. Music to puree gazpacho by: Bebe, "Malo" see the video here. Add the salt, pepper, vinegar and ice water from the bread and process to incorporate. While the processor is running, open the feeder top and drizzle in the oil. Put the soup through a medium mesh strainer, check again for salt and possibly add more water if you feel the soup is too thick. Chill in refrigerator until ready to serve.
Serving suggestions: This soup goes well in bowls alone or with a dollop of yogurt or sour cream, You can even serve it in cocktail classes spiked with vodka or tequila, but please, no sleeping pills.