What summer table is complete without gazpacho? It’s probably one of the easiest things I know how to make and the best part is, you don’t even really need a recipe. It’s all about using what’s fresh, and what you like. I like mine smooth with lots of onion and lots of spice. I love adding a dollop of crème fraiche or even cream cheese to lighten things up a bit. But the best possible addition? Crispy, crunchy slices of chorizo.
I really wanted to try a watermelon gazpacho because I had one in a restaurant a couple of weeks ago that was to die for, and I love sweet and salty combinations. I didn’t have any watermelon though, so I figured the next best thing would be to add a few nectarines into the mix. I’ve been obsessed with this summer stone fruit lately, as you’ll soon see in my next post, dedicated to the best fruit tart I’ve ever made (there haven’t been a lot of them ;). I highly recommend the addition, but feel free to leave them out if you want a more classic soup.
Oh, right. Soup? Did I mention that a gazpacho requires no cooking whatsoever? When I think of soup, I think of winter and potages and veloutés and stews. Slow cooking root vegetables in broth and warming up in the best possible way. This is a no-cook recipe. Simply peel, roughly chop and blend. It’s that simple. I like to make a huge quantity, puréeing in batches so that I’m sure I’ll have enough to last me a couple of days. Even though it hasn’t been very hot this summer, it wouldn’t be summer without a nice, cool bowl of this Spanish soup.
Sweet and spicy nectarine and tomato gazpacho with chorizo chips
4 large heirloom tomatoes, blanched and skin removed
4 roma tomatoes, blanched and skin removed
1 large cucumber, peeled, seeds removed
2 green bell peppers, peeled and seeds removed
1/2 red onion
1 green onion
3 cloves of garlic
1/2 C basil
3 ripe nectarines
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 C red wine vinegar
1/3 C olive oil
Salt and pepper
Espelette or cayenne pepper
Water if needed
Crème fraiche or cream cheese
Combine everything but the water and olive oil in a blender. If it’s not large enough, purée in two or three batches, dividing ingredients evenly. Purée until the consistency is to your liking. I tend to mix on high for about 2-3 minutes, using my hand mixer to get an even smoother consistency. If you like your soup chunky, feel free to blend on low speed for just a minute or two. Once the mixture is fairly smooth and even, stream in olive oil while blending. Taste and adjust seasoning. Add a few tablespoons of water if necessary to thin the soup out.
Meanwhile, heat your oven to about 350 degrees and cook the chorizo (thinly sliced) for about 10 minutes, until crisp and nearly blackened. Serve the soup cold with a dollop of crème fraiche or cream cheese and a few pieces of chorizo.