This is the real thing, straight from Spain and translated for us by the ever-diligent David Rosengarten . For the best results, puree the vegetables in a Vita-Mix and strain through an Anolon cone strainer. If a Vita-Mix and Anolon strainer are not in your cupboard, it is delicious simply whirred in a food processor or blender.
- 2 ounces stale Italian or French bread, with crust
- 1/2 lb. ripe tomatoes, stems removed
- 1/4 lb. Vidalia onion
- 1/4 lb. cucumber
- 1/4 lb. green bell pepper
- 1/4 lb. red bell pepper
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon vinegar de Jerez
1. Break the bread into large chunks, place chunks in a bowl, and cover with cold water (about 1 1/2 cups). Soak until the bread is fairly soft, but not mushy, about 1-2 minutes. Squeeze the water out of the bread with your hands, and place bread in the container of the Vita-Mix.
2. Cut the tomatoes in quarters, and scoop out the seeds with your fingers. Discard seeds. Cut tomatoes in large cubes (you should have about 1 1/2 cups), and add to container.
3. Peel the onion, and cut into large dice (you should have about 1 cup). Add onion to container.
4. Peel the cucumber and cut in half the long way. Scoop out the seeds with a teaspoon, and discard seeds. Cut cucumber into large dice (you should have about 2/3 cup), and add to container.
5. Remove the stems and seeds from the green bell pepper and the red bell pepper. Cut each into large dice (you should have about 1 cup of diced green pepper, and about 1 cup of diced red pepper). Add cut peppers to the container.
6. Add olive oil and sherry vinegar. Turn Vita-Mix on at low speed, then ratchet up to high. Blend on high until the mixture is very smooth and velvety, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper, then blend on high for a few seconds more.
7. Pour the gazpacho through the Analon Cone Strainer into glasses, or into a pitcher. Push gazpacho through the strainer with a spatula or wooden spoon. But it is important that you do not force through every last drop; leave the last bits of bready sediment behind in the strainer. Discard periodically. And don't scrape the gazpacho film that's on the bottom of the strainer into the finished gazpacho; simply clean your strainer under cold running water every few minutes, washing off the gazpacho film into the sink.