Simple Chilled Gazpacho

David Pitchford - Head Chef, Reads Restaurant with Rooms
Cook time 2.5 hours
Servings Serves 10–12

Ingredients

1kg ripe tomatoes

1 cucumber

2 large red peppers

100g onion, finely sliced

100g stale white bread, crusts removed

125ml extra virgin olive oil

75ml white wine vinegar

2 large cloves garlic, peeled

850ml iced water

Maldon sea salt

white pepper

Simple Chilled Gazpacho

Method

Although this dish would be most appropriate for a summer lunchtime, I am told that it is an excellent remedy for a hangover at Christmas and New Year but, never having had a need for such a remedy, I have no way of knowing if this is true or not.

Quarter the tomatoes, peel the cucumber and cut it into slices, quarter and de-seed the peppers and remove their stalks. Place the prepared vegetables and the sliced onion in a bowl with the bread, olive oil, vinegar, garlic and iced water. Season with Maldon salt and finely milled white pepper. Cover the bowl and put it in the fridge for 2 hours to marinate.

Then take the bowl out of the fridge and transfer everything to a blender (rather than a food processor, and you will need to do this in batches). Blend, and then pass through a medium strainer – not too fine – into a clean bowl. Push the liquid through the strainer with a ladle, and mix everything together well. Put the gazpacho in the fridge to chill once more, and serve it ice cold on a hot summer’s day.

If you have time, serve the gazpacho with small bowls of garlic croutons, finely chopped onion, small cucumber dice, diced tomatoes (skinned and deseeded) and diced red, yellow and green peppers. These items should be served separately so that guests can help themselves to whatever they like.