Recipe courtesy of Manuel Valencia

Gazpacho Majado

Gazpacho is a delicious and refreshing Spanish cold tomato-based raw vegetable soup, and I absolutely love to prepare this recipe at home. The key to a successful gazpacho is making it and eating it during the summer or warm months, when tomatoes are at their peak of the season. Since the ingredients remain raw, you should only use the best possible ingredients, including the best extra-virgin Spanish olive oil you can find.
  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 2 hr 15 min
  • Prep: 15 min
  • Inactive: 2 hr
  • Yield: 6 servings
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Ingredients

1 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning

2 cloves garlic

3 small green peppers, de-seeded (a mild, long variety)

1 small piece onion, peeled

2 slices country bread, crusts removed

3/4 cup good-quality extra-virgin olive oil (preferably an Arbequina variety)

2 tablespoons sherry vinegar (Vinagre de Jerez, in Spanish)

2 1/4 pounds ripe, red tomatoes (preferably an heirloom variety)

2 cups still, bottled water, cold

Directions

  1. Method for a mortar and pestle: With a mortar and pestle, mash the ingredients together, in the following order: First the salt and garlic cloves, then the green peppers and onion. Add 1 slice of the bread, so that the mixture doesn't spatter. Right away, while mixing by hand, add the olive oil in steady stream, then the sherry vinegar, the second slice of bread and the tomatoes. Pound and crush the gazpacho mixture extremely well. To finish, add the cold water. Chill for 1 to 2 hours. Adjust the salt and seasoning if needed and serve cold. The resulting gazpacho should have a chunky texture. 
  2. Method for a blender: Peel and de-seed the tomatoes and set aside. In a blender, pulse the garlic cloves and salt for a few seconds. Add the green peppers and onion and blend to break down. Add a 1 slice of bread and pulse. Add the tomatoes and the second slice of bread and, with the blender still running, stream in the olive oil until blended and smooth. To finish, add the sherry vinegar at the end. Pour into a large bowl or soup terrine and the cold water. Stir well. Chill for 1 to 2 hours and adjust the salt and seasoning if needed. Serve cold. The resulting gazpacho should have a smooth texture.

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