Barby's Gazpacho - Healthy and Refreshing!

Fiery in colour, just like the Andalucian heat, this cold Spanish soup originated from Andalucia, one of the hottest areas in Spain. Full of nutritious ingredients, it will give you the energy you need to function when the heat is pressing hard.  This delicious soup is one of my favourite dishes from Spanish summer cuisine.  It is healthy, easy to make and bursting with flavour using a small number of common summer salad staples - in fact, it is like eating a liquid salad! As such, gazpacho is also very low on calories, containing only 146 kcal per serving which is the reason why we have no guilt when we dip some 'barquitos' (pieces of bread) into to it :-).

Like most simple dishes, gazpacho is more than its individual parts and every cook has their own version! A tasty gazpacho demands only the finest ingredients to make it truly special - the ripest tomatoes, a small amount of cucumber and pepper to add a touch of flavour and just the right amount of bread and garlic to give it some body and bite!  It’s also got a little zing which comes from the vinegar. Finally, some good olive oil is needed to get the balance  of flavours right.

Once you have your version of gazpacho, then you can add yummy garnishes like peppers, onions, crumbled bread sticks of chopped pieces of jamon to embellish and "pimp" your gazpacho!

INGREDIENTS

Serves 6

1kg plum tomatoes, ripe, cut in halves
50 g green peppers
40 g onions
70 g cucumber, partially peeled
1 garlic clove
30 g sherry vinegar
1 tsp salt
50 - 100 g extra virgin olive oil
8 ice cubes

METHOD

Add all the ingredients into a blender and blend away until you achieve the desired consistency.  You might want to make it thicker or smoother depending on whether you are making it to be served by the glass or in a bowl with toppings. 

The Spanish tend to serve some chopped up green pepper, cucumber, 'barquitos', diced serrano ham and diced boiled egg on the side to add to the soup when serving it and give it some extra zing!