The single easiest way to make the most of ultra-ripe tomatoes.
We eat this Spanish classic at least once a week at my house during the height of tomato season. It’s perfect for a no-cook dinner, for a make-ahead dinner, and for using tomatoes that have gone a touch past perfectly ripe. A bit overripe isn’t just okay for this chilled soup, it’s ideal.
The blend-strain-blend technique may seem like overkill, but it’s how to get an utterly smooth, luscious, and integrated gazpacho.
Offer a range of garnishes for people to add as they like. By including egg or ham and plenty of toasted bread or croutons, it’s pretty easy for this to serve as a light supper.
- 2 1/2 pounds extremely very ripe tomatoes [may need to use canned to get the good color]
- ½ cucumber
- 1 piece baguette about 5 inches long
- 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
- Salt to taste
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 shallot
- 1 hot chile
- Diced red or green bell pepper
- Diced cucumber
- Pitted and chopped oil-cured black olives
- Chopped hard-cooked egg
- Chopped ham
- Toasts or croutons
- Herbs of any sort
- You may need to work in batches, depending on the size of your blender; if you do, use about half the tomatoes in each, do the cucumber in one and the bread in the other, then combine.
- Cut the tomatoes, cucumber, and bread into fiarly big pieces. Put them in the blender with the 2 vinegars and olive oil, and any garlic, shallot, or chile you’re using. Whirl to blend until smooth.
- Run through a food mill or a strainer. Return to the blender, and blend again. Add salt to taste (it’s a lot of liquid and a lot of acid, so salt generously—start with 1 teaspoon, then add more to taste).
- Cover and chill at least 4 hours and up to overnight. Serve with the garnishes for people to add at the table.