Gazpacho is a soup made of raw vegetables and it is served cold. It most traditionally has a tomato base.
It makes for a fresh and light start to any meal. It is an ideal starter if your main course is a rich dish.
For me this soup ticks so many boxes. It is flavoursome and light, it can be fully prepared in advance, it is suitable for vegetarian guests and it is nutritious. It is also adaptable. There are so many ways to liven it up. I’ve added a few delicious extras to my recipe to elevate the gazpacho to a dish suitable for any dinner party.
Any leftover basil oil can be kept and drizzled over salads. This soup can be made up to four days in advance and in fact the flavour develops so much more if it is left for a couple of days in the fridge.
1 red pepper
¼ of a cucumber
1/8 of a red onion
125ml olive oil
20ml sherry vinegar
Salt to taste
Roughly chop the tomatoes, red pepper, red onion and cucumber.
Place them in a large bowl. Crush everything together.
Add the basil and coriander. Mix all of the ingredients together.
Cover with clingfilm and leave in the fridge overnight.
Blend the mixture.
Pass it through a fine sieve.
Add the olive oil and sherry vinegar.
Blend the mixture till emulsified.
Season to taste.
Cover and chill in the fridge.
1 bunch of basil leaves (stalks removed)
250ml rapeseed oil
Blanch half of the basil leaves in salted boiling water for 30 seconds.
Refresh in ice water until completely cold.
Squeeze out all of the excess water.
Into a blender add the blanched basil, the raw basil and rapeseed oil and blend until smooth.
Pass through a fine sieve and reserve until required.
A handful of hazelnuts
Preheat the oven to 180C.
Place the hazelnuts on a tray.
Roast in the oven for approximately 15 minutes, giving them a shake every 5 minutes.
Rub off the skins.
Reserve until required.
Pour the gazpacho into bowls and top with a drizzle of the basil oil and the roasted hazelnuts.