Heirloom Summer Gazpacho

Gazpacho is traditionally made by blending tomatoes with olive oil, fresh herbs and cucumber and combining with stale bread soaked in water.It is always served cold and is the perfect summer lunch or starter to a meal. The first time I made this recipe I was hooked, and now I cant wait for the first seasonal tomatoes to ripen so to enjoy this soup throughout the summer months. I am happy to forgo it after the season ends, as imported tomatoes just aren’t the same. Lacking in flavour, texture and freshness. I manage to eat enough of it at this time of year that I am ready to wait another year before indulging all over again!

Its really worth seeking out good quality tomatoes for this recipe. If you can find them in a variety of colours, sizes and shapes then even better! I love a combination of traditional red, cherry yellow ones and beefy dark purple-red meaty ones. Each has their own unique flavour and makes this soup such a feast for the senses. The citrus juices, garlic and herbs make it burst with flavour, so paring it with a nice mellow side such as some fresh sourdough bread or quinoa is the best way to go.IMG_20130730_202147

Heirloom Summer Gazpacho

 Serves 4
6 large heirloom tomatoes (or about 12 regular sized tomatoes, around 500g worth)
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 small cucumber, finely diced
2 spring onions, chopped (optional)
1 orange
1 lemon
1 clove garlic
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
1 handful fresh parsley
1 tsp ground cumin
1 handful fresh coriander
4 soaked dates
Pinch cayenne
Pinch salt
 
Place half of the tomatoes into a blender with the juice of the orange and lemon, clove of garlic, vinegar, dates, cumin, cayenne and oil. Blend until smooth, then add the fresh herbs and pulse briefly  If you blend the herbs in for too long the mixture will turn brown instead of a nice red colour!
Finely dice the rest of the tomatoes, cucumber and onions. Place in a bowl then pour the blended mixture over the top. Season with salt to taste, stir well and refrigerate for as long as possible before serving.
To serve, pour the gazpacho into bowls, top with diced avocado, a few fresh herbs and a drizzle of olive oil. Enjoy on its own or with some fresh bread or crackers.

 

 

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