Gazpacho

  • 1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 3 pounds ripe plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup sherry vinegar
  • 1/4 Oloroso sherry, or sherry vinegar if unavailable
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, preferably Spanish
  • 2, 1-inch thick slices of rustic bread
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, preferably Spanish
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 12 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Sea salt, to taste

For the soup:

Combine the cucumber, pepper, tomatoes, garlic, vinegar, sherry, olive oil and 2 cups water in a food processor or blender.

Work in batches if necessary.

Purée the ingredients until everything is well blended into a thick pink liquid.

Pour the gazpacho through a medium-hole strainer into a pitcher.

Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

For the garnish:

Preheat the oven to 400 F.

Cut the bread into 1 inch cubes and toss in a mixing bowl with 2 tablespoons of olive oil.

Spread the bread cubes on a baking sheet and bake on the middle rack until golden brown, about 5 minutes.

Set the croutons aside to cool.

When you are ready to serve the gazpacho, dice the cucumber into cubes.

Put a few croutons, cherry tomato halves, and cucumber ribbons into each bowl and pour the gazpacho over them.

Drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt.