|(Interview) Jane Hornby whips up her "fairly classic Gazpacho with a little bit of British in it."|
From Fresh & Easy: What to Cook and How to Cook It (Phaidon Press, May 2012, $45.00)
Preparation time: 20 minutes, plus chilling
Serves 4, easily doubled
Note: This is possibly the most refreshing meal you could eat. I’ve added a little horseradish and Worcestershire sauce to this Spanish classic, bringing a little rounded heat and piquancy, but leave them out if you are a purist. Also, should you be tempted, try adding a naughty little nip of vodka to the mix.
1 slice day-old, good-quality bread
2/3 cup tomato juice
1 lb 5 oz ripe tomatoes
½ cucumber, about 7 oz
1 bunch scallions
1-2 cloves garlic, depending on your taste
5 roasted red bell peppers from a jar, drained, about 4 oz
4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra to drizzle
1 tbsp sherry vinegar
½ tsp grated horseradish
1-2 tsp superfine sugar
a couple of dashes Worcestershire sauce
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Remove the crusts from the bread, then soak the bread in the tomato juice for a couple of minutes.
- Cut the tomatoes into big wedges, and cut out the hard cores.
- Peel and chop the cucumber into chunky pieces. Trim the scallions. Thinly slice the white parts of 2 of the scallions and set aside (you’ll use those to garnish the soup later), then roughly chop the rest. Peel the garlic. Put the vegetables, bell peppers and garlic into a blender or food processor, then add the bread and tomato juice.
- Process the soup until it’s as smooth as you can get it. Depending on the size of the machine, you may need to do this in 2 batches. Blend in the olive oil and vinegar, then add the horseradish, sugar and Worcestershire sauce to taste. Season, then chill the soup thoroughly—this will take a couple of hours.*
- When ready to serve, pour the soup into small glasses or cups. If you’re at home, add an ice cube or two. The garnish is optional if picnicking, but if you want to go to the effort, take along a little jar of olive oil. Sprinkle the soup with the reserved scallion, a little black pepper and then drizzle with the oil.