There are many versions of gazpacho, some made with moistened bread and ground almonds, some that are chunky, some that are puréed, and some that don’t even contain tomatoes. It’s all a matter of taste and the region of Spain from which the recipe comes.
This is the gazpacho recipe I prefer. It is the essence of summer, and it is very simple to make because everything goes into a blender. You may adjust the amount or omit the garlic, if you wish. The smooth Goat Cheese crème balances the acidity of the tomatoes nicely.
6 large very ripe tomatoes, cored, with all blemishes removed
½ large sweet onion
2 medium cucumbers, peeled and seeded
1 small bell pepper, seeded
1 rib celery
½ clove garlic
¼ cup tightly packed flat-leaf parsley
1 cup tomato juice or V8 juice
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
8 sprigs flat-leaf parsley leaves, for garnish
¼ cup (2 ounces) fresh Goat Cheese
1 cup (8 ounces) crème fraiche or heavy cream
For the Gazpacho, cut the tomatoes, onion, cucumbers, bell pepper, celery, and garlic into large chunks and place them in the container of a blender. Add the parsley and pour in the tomato juice. Process until completely puréed and smooth. Depending on the size of the workbowl, it may be necessary to process the vegetables in smaller batches each with a portion of the tomato juice. Pour the Gazpacho into a large bowl or plastic refrigerator container. Stir in the olive oil and vinegar. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator for at least three hours before serving.
For the Chevre Cream, place the Goat Cheese and cream in the workbowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Process until the mixture is completely smooth. The mixture will resemble a dense whipped cream. Place in a small bowl and chill until serving time.
To serve, ladle the chilled Gazpacho into soup bowls. Dollop a heaping tablespoon of the Chevre Cream in the center of each bowl of soup and garnish with a sprig of parsley.
For another delicious summer-inspired recipe, try this Angel food cake with peaches and mascarpone.