The original form of gazpacho, Ajo blanco, is a mixture of almonds and garlic, and is a dish traditional to Andalusia in southern Spain. Then came the New World crops with the return of Columbus, and tomatoes and cucumbers were incorporated. Traditionally, gazpacho was a way to use old bread, as the bread was pulverized with some liquid in a mortar and pestle, and added to the mashed vegetables. I don’t use bread in this recipe, but you can certainly experiment with it.
4-5 medium tomatoes
1 bell pepper of each color (green, red, yellow, orange)
1/2 red onion
2 cloves garlic
1 jalpeno pepper
2-3 cups tomato juice (depending on desired consistency)
4 Tbs olive oil
2 Tbs red wine vinegar
Remove the seeds from the cucumbers and tomatoes and roughly chop. Remove seeds and membranes from peppers, and roughly chop 1/2 – 3/4 of the peppers and set the rest aside. Roughly chop red onion. Halve the jalpeno and remove the seeds and membranes as you wish – leaving more of them in will make for a spicier soup. Roughly chop the pepper. Add the chopped vegetables and garlic to a food processor in batches, pureeing until smooth, and pour into a large non-reactive bowl. To the puree, add the tomato juice, juice of lime, olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper to taste. You can add more or less of any of these ingredients depending on your taste. I like my gazpacho with a but of a chunk, so I take the remaining bell peppers and finely chop them by hand and add to the soup. Mix well and check for salt and spice (the spice will increase as you let it sit, so leave some room for it to mature). Refrigerate until cool, at least 4 hours, though letting the flavors develop overnight is best. Garnish with some sliced cucumber and a cherry tomato (italian ice tomatoes are shown above). Enjoy.