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Chilled gazpacho is hot weather bliss

Chef column - gazpacho

Chef column - gazpacho

James Tea, head chef at Wisbech’s Rose and Crown Hotel is dishing up a weekly menu to help liven up your family meal times. Each week James, who has worked at top class restaurants around the world, will be serving up an easy, affordable recipe for your to try. Many of the meals will be a version on those on offer at the prestigious Rose and Crown Hotel.

Gazpacho is a soup made of raw vegetables and served cold, usually with a tomato base, originating in the southern Spanish region of Andalusia.

Gazpacho is widely eaten in Spain and neighbouring Portugal, particularly during the hot summers, as it is refreshing and cool.

There are number of theories of its origin, including as an Arab soup of bread, olive oil, water and garlic that arrived in Spain and Portugal with the Moors, or via the Romans with the addition of vinegar.

Once in Spain, it became a part of Andalusian cuisine, particularly Cordoba and Seville, using stale bread, garlic, olive oil, salt and vinegar, similar to ajoblanco (popular Spanish cold soup).

T his perfect hot-weather soup is simply a salad in liquid form, which means it’s one of the easiest dishes to make.

There are many variations of gazpacho, from smooth and chunky in texture, to different colours and omitting tomatoes and bread in favour of avocados, cucumbers, watermelon, grapes, seafood, and other ingredients.

This simple recipe uses finely chopped vegetables, and is served with croutons.

Ingredients:

sERVES 4

6 ripe vine tomatoes, finely chopped

1 flat garlic clove, peeled and finely crushed

1 red pepper, deseeded and finely chopped

1 small red onion, peeled and finely chopped

Juice of 1 lemon, or to preferred taste

1/2 cucumber, peeled deseeded and finely chopped

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

300ml cold vegetable or chicken stock

300ml tomato juice

Handful basil and tarragon leaves, chopped

Dash of tabasco sauce

Dash of Worcestershire sauce

Olive oil, to drizzle

Croutons, to serve

Method

Put all the vegetables in a large bowl and sprinkle over the lemon juice and some salt and pepper. Mix well.

Pour over the stock and tomato juice to cover, and then stir in the herbs and a dash each of Tabasco and Worcestershire sauce. Cover with cling film and chill for at least four hours to let the flavours meld. Serve in chilled bowls with a drizzle of olive oil and croutons scattered on top.

 

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