Chilled Gazpacho Andaluz

Ingredients

  • 2 thick slices of day-old country bread, crusts removed and cut into small pieces
  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds ripest, sweetest most flavorful tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. aged sherry vinegar
  • 1/2 cup fragrant extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup bottled spring water
  • 2 small garlic cloves, minced 
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Sea salt
  • 1 firm medium-sized cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, cored, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 small red or Spanish onion, peeled and chopped
  • Extra small amounts of bell peppers, onions and tomatoes, for garnish
Place the bread in a large bowl, drizzle with some olive oil and squeeze out juice from one tomato over it. Add 1 tsp. of sherry vinegar and mix it well with your fingers. Set aside for at least 10 minutes.
 
Transfer the bread mixture to a blender (or food processor) and add minced garlic, cayenne pepper and salt. Process until very smooth.
 
Add half of the tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers, onions, generous pinch of salt and 1/4 cup of olive oil; process until smooth. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside. Repeat with the remaining half of vegetables and olive oil. You can also pass the soup through a sieve, but it's not necessary. Transfer this mixture to the bowl with the first batch.
 
To the bowl, add 1 tbsp. sherry vinegar, a sprinkle of salt and the spring water. Stir well to combine. Taste and adjust amounts of each to your liking.
 
Chill for at least 3 hours.
 
Divide between chilled soup bowls and prepare small dishes of chopped peppers, onions and tomatoes for garnish. Add side dish of olive oil for drizzling and some good crusty bread.
 
by The Savvy Kitchen
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