Seville, Spain (Andalusia)
I know, I know you know where it is, but I love maps…………….and it conjures up my synesthesia. Reading a map, looking at the street pictures will invade my senses, especially “smell”. So this post lets me smell the food in that restaurant and the smell of the streets in Seville. It is strange and annoying at times but generally quite lovely. It does not happen “on command”, synesthesia has a life of its own.
I went to Seville once for 1 1/2 days as an unexpected treat. Generally in the airlines we only had 24 hours for a layover but this particular trip was unusual to begin with. I had messed up my schedule for some reason and was put on standby (meaning, when they called, I went on whatever flight they assigned me). It could have been worse. My trip was to Malaga on a charter and we would be staying there for three days. So Seville was calling my name. I have had Gazpacho in many restaurants and many friend’s homes but this style is the one I always make at home. Any and all of the recipes are a great inspiration for your own and they are all delicious. When we walked in to a beautiful restaurant in Seville you walked by this beautiful table all set up with the Gazpacho Andaluz and had my eyes “wide open” when I saw bowls and bowls of garnishes around this huge beautiful bowl of gazpacho. I would pay to find a picture of that table display. I have never, ever had the number of garnishes at my table but always have a few. You will decide if you would like the soup smooth, partially smooth or with some vegetables not pureed. I make mine partially smooth and let the guests add the chopped garnishes of choice at the table.
This week I had an abundance of my “Better Boy” tomatoes in the garden and rushed to buy the other vegetables for the Gazpacho.
- 2 Slices coarse bread, crusts removed, soaked in water
- 2 Cucumbers (peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped)
- 1 Yellow or Red Onion (chopped)
- 2 Cloves Garlic (minced)
- 2 1/2 lbs. Tomatoes (peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped)
- 2 Green Bell Peppers (seeded and coarsely chopped)
- 6 T. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 3 T. Red Wine Vinegar
- 1-2 C. V-8 Juice or Water (optional)
- Worcestershire Sauce (as desired)
- Cayenne Pepper (as desired)
- Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper (as desired)
- Blanche the tomatoes, remove skins and chop
- Take half of the chopped tomatoes and strain, reserving the juice
- In a blender put the soaked bread, tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, garlic and 1 green pepper and puree until smooth while adding the strained tomato juice. Put in a bowl.
- Finely chop the rest of the chopped tomatoes and bell pepper and add to the soup
- Add v-8 Juice if the soup is too thick
- Stir in the olive oil, vinegar, Worcestershire Sauce, Cayenne Pepper, Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper
- Cover and refrigerate until well chilled
- To serve, ladle the soup into chilled bowls and let the guests add garnishes as desired
For the Garnishes
Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Red, Yellow or Green Peppers, Yellow or Red Onions, Croutons
Peel, seed and finely chop the garnishes and put in small separate bowls.
For the Bread Crumbs, warm olive oil and garlic in a pan and toast the bread cubes until golden brown on all sides
The “Better Boy” Tomatoes from my garden.
Some people strain and some do not. For me it depends on my mood.
The “tomato trilogy”, tomatoes, juice from the cooked and strained tomatoes and the magic of V-8.
You better feel like chopping on the day you make gazpacho.
The Worcestershire Sauce and the Cayenne Pepper will determine the spicy outcome.
For this meal we had green and yellow peppers, cucumbers, red onions and croutons for our garnishes.
For your spicy friends…..we put a bottle of your favorite “Hot Sauce” on the table.
Adapted from “Savoring Spain & Portugal” by Joyce Goldstein