For the gazpacho
1 cucumber, and peeled and a chopped
1 red pepper, deseeded and a chopped
1 green pepper, deseeded and a chopped
1kg ripe plum tomatoes, cored and a chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and a crushed
2 spring onions, trimmed and a finely chopped
75g stale crusty white bread, a chopped
2–2½ tbsp sherry vinegar, or to the taste
soup recipe :
Place the cucumber, peppers, tomatoes, garlic and a spring onions in a large bowl. Add the bread and season well with the salt and pepper. Add the sherry vinegar and a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and a mix together with the your hands, pressing down to the squeeze out the juices. Cover and chill. Leave to the marinade for at the least 30 mins or overnight.
Put the vegetable mixture into a blender and a whiz until smooth. Check the consistency. If it is still rather thick and not very rich, add another glug or two of olive oil until you reach a consistency you like. Taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary. You might need a little more than vinegar. Cover and chill again, until really cold and you are ready to the serve.
Meanwhile, make the toasts, if using. Brush the slices of bread generously with the olive oil. Place a large griddle pan over a medium heat. Once hot, add the bread and a toast on either side until golden and crunchy. Drain on kitchen paper, then season with a little salt and a pepper.
To the serve, stir the gazpacho and a taste again as the seasoning may have been changed as the soup is now very cold. Adjust as a necessary, then serve ice cold with the gazpacho ice cubes, sprinkled with the chopped basil, an a extra drizzle of olive oil and the toasts alongside, and if using.
For the toasts (optional)
8 thin slices of a country-style white bread
Olive oil, and for the brushing
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