This soup is summer in a bowl. It is also a meal on its own, or pair with a green salade. This recipe is from Philippe’s grandmother (Mamita), Suzanne Genachte:
Place half of the following in a blender, the rest chopped in individual bowls for serving:
4 large tomatoes* (we go heavy on tomatoes, so if they are not gigantic, use 5 or 6, and usually about 2/3 end up in the blender)
1 large green pepper, remove seeds and ribs (use part red pepper for more color and sweetness)
1 large cucumber (remove seeds)
1 sweet onion (Mamita calls for Spanish, however, if a mild onion is not available, add less to the blender, and more chopped on the table)
4 slices country bread – we use Philippe’s foccacia
Blend together with 1 cup of ice (to chill quickly) and 1 cup of water (add up to 2 more cups of water to reach desired consistency and taste), 1/4 cup wine vinaigre (white or red), 1/4 olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. We add 1 fresh chile to the blender as well – jalapeno or serano – for a spicier gaspacho.
Refrigerate the soup for 1 hour or so prior to eating. Serve with the reserved chopped vegetables and bread, fresh cilantro, parsley, or basil, and Greek yogurt, sour cream, or creme fraiche.
Wine pairing: We enjoyed this gaspacho with a Rose from southern France. Celebrate its origin with a crisp Spanish white or dry red wine. Sangria would be a fun pairing as well. Cheers!
*Tip for peeling and seeding tomatoes: cut an “X” in the bottom and drop it in boiling water for 10 seconds. Immediately place in an ice bath, let cool, peel, chop, and de-seed. Also works for peaches, nectarines, and other soft-skinned fruits.