This easy gazpacho recipe is bursting with flavors from fresh vegetables and extra virgin olive oil. Delicious with crusty bread, this is the perfect food to enjoy on a hot day.
Gazpacho is a Spanish dish originating from Andalucia. It is very easy to make, as all you have to do is blend all the ingredients together. For maximum flavor, make sure you use ripe vine tomatoes and a very high-quality oil such as La Española’s Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
French cuisine uses a lot of butter but I have always preferred using olive oil, not only for its taste but also for its high nutritional value. Olive oil is, in fact, one of the healthiest fats around. It is also really versatile as you can use it for frying and baking as well as dressings and drizzles. I keep 3 types of olive oil in my kitchen: extra virgin olive oil (for salads and drizzles), plain olive oil (to fry and bake) and flavored olive oil such as truffle or chilli (for drizzle and sometimes cooking).
The health benefits of the Mediterranean diet are well documented and each major country producing olive oil (France, Italy, Spain, and Greece) is immensely proud of its own national oil.
What a treat then, last week, to discover the oldest Spanish olive oil brand La Española at Hispania and savor delicious Spanish food made with their olive oils.
La Española is not only the oldest Spanish producer of olive oil, but it is also one of the only olive oil manufacturers that allows you to trace the origin of every single extra virgin olive oil bottle you buy, back to the olive grove it came from. They called Oliography.
The olive oil industry is plagued by fraudulent practices where different oils can sometimes be mixed in together or country of origin might differ from what is on the label. So that consumers can be sure of what they are buying, authentication and traceability of extra virgin olive oil is really important. Knowing where our food is coming from is not only a matter of trust but also quality.
With Oliography, all you have to do is enter the LOT number from each bottle online and you will be able to find out which tree the olives came from, date of harvest, date when the olives were pressed when the oil was bottled and when it arrived in the UK. How is that for transparency?!
- 2 garlic cloves
- 8 large ripe vine tomatoes
- 4 medium green peppers deseeded and sliced
- 250g [US 2 cups] of bread soaked in 4 tablespoons (60ml) of water
- 6 to 8 Tbsp vinegar
- 500ml water [US 2 cups]
- 6 Tbsp La Española Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 Tbsp ground white pepper
- FOR GARNISH:
- 250g bread cut into small pieces [US 2 cups]
- sliced cucumber
- 2 peppers (green, red or yellow)
- Take the garlic cloves and rub them into the mortar. Core the tomatoes and crush them with the deseeded peppers in the mortar. (alternatively place garlic cloves, cored tomatoes and deseeded peppers in a blender - you might have to do this by batches).
- Add the breadcrumbs and crush / blend all the ingredients. Pour the water (into the mortar or blender) slowly and season with salt and a pinch of pepper. Add the vinegar and La Española Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
- Blend the mixed ingredients in a blender until smooth and pour into the soup bowl. Cover and let it chill in the fridge for at least 30mins or overnight.
- If the consistency appears too thick, add more olive oil and/or water until you reach the desired consistency.
- Before serving, taste the gazpacho again as the taste may have changed with the temperature.
- Brush the slices of bread with olive oil and roast them in a pan until golden brown. Lightly season them with salt and pepper.
- Serve the gazpacho ice cold with bread, cucumbers and peppers.
I have slightly adapted this recipe from La Española’s website. Don’t hesitate to halve the quantities below which are quite generous. You can also use bread that is slightly stale for this soup. Once made this easy gazpacho dish needs to rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or overnight. I would advise you to keep some of the vinegar and water to adjust taste and consistency just before serving.
This recipe was republished with permission from The Flexitarian.