Adapted from recipes by Sarah Jay and Penelope Casas
A nice cooling Gazpacho, often called Spain's "liquid salad" is a perfect first course with any paella.
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 large green bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1" chunks
- 1-1/2 pounds of ripe tomatoes, cut into 1" chunks
- 3-inch long piece of baguette, sliced and allowed to dry
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 Tbsp white vinegar
- 1 Tbsp cooking sherry
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- Tomato juice
- 1 cup peeled finely diced cucumber
- 1 cup finely diced onion
- 1 cup crumbled hard-cooked egg
- 6 Tbsp diced Serrano ham or prosciutto
Put the garlic, bell pepper, tomatoes, baguette, olive oil, vinegar, sherry and salt into a food processor. Pulse until the ingredients begin to puree, then process continuously until the mixture gets to the consistency you like.
Transfer the mixture to a bowl. Adjust seasoning. Add some tomato juice if you like the soup to be thinner. The tomato juice also adds some color if your tomatoes aren't as red and ripe as can be. Cover and refrigerate several hours, until well chilled.
Serve in chilled bowls with cucumber, onion and crumbled egg available for your guests to add as they like.
- If using tomato juice, you may need to cut back on the salt added.
- The cucumber, onion, egg and ham are not simply garnishes. They contribute to the flavor of the Gazpacho.