Cook the Book: Gazpacho

[Photograph: Francesc Guillamet]

This week we wanted to test out Ferran Adrià's take on an iconic Spanish dish, Gazpacho, to see how he translated the chilled soup for elBulli staff meals in his new cookbook The Family Meal.

Adrià's interpretation is simple, classic, and shockingly easy to make at home, requiring nothing more than a blender and a fine-mesh sieve for a bowl of bright, vegetal, tomatoey soup that tastes primarily of sweet-savory tomatoes.

Cucumbers, tomatoes, red peppers, onions, and white bread are buzzed together with a few cloves of garlic that have been twice-blanched to get rid of their sharpness. The bright red soup is then passed through a strainer and blended again with olive oil, sherry vinegar, and a few teaspoons of mayonnaise that gently emulsifies the soup, giving it touch of creaminess.

This isn't a modernist take on gazpacho by any stretch of the imagination, just a great recipe that makes for a vibrant bowl that tastes exactly as fresh and thrilling as it's supposed to.

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of The Family Meal to give away this week.

Adapted from The Family Meal by Ferran Adrià. Copyright © 2011. Published by Phiadon. Available wherever books are sold. All Rights Reserved

Cook the Book: Gazpacho

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About This Recipe

Yield:6
Active time:30 minutes
Total time:30 minutes plus at least two hours chilling time
Special equipment:blender or food processor

Ingredients

  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 onions
  • 1 (2 1/4 ounce) cucumber
  • 1 (2 7/8 ounce) red pepper
  • 12 (2 1/4 pounds) ripe tomatoes
  • 1 1/4 ounces white country-style bread (without crusts)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup olive oil, plus extra to serve
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 4 ounces croutons

Procedures

  1. 1

    Peel and cut each garlic clove in half. Remove the green shoot inside if there is one. Fill a small saucepan with water and add the garlic. Bring the water to a boil. When the water begins to boil, lift the garlic out of the water and into a bowl of ice water to quickly cool it. Repeat this twice, always starting with cold water in the saucepan.

  2. 2

    Peel the onion and cut it in half, then into large chunks. Peel the cucumber. Cut in half, then into large pieces. Halve the bell pepper, then remove the seeds and white membrane. Chop the peppers, then set aside along with the cucumber and onion. Cut the tomatoes into large wedges and put in the bowl with the onions, cucumbers and bell peppers.

  3. 3

    Add the bread, torn into pieces, then pour over the water.

  4. 4

    Process everything using a hand-held blender or use a food processor. Stain the gazpacho though a fine-mesh strainer.

  5. 5

    Add the oil, vinegar, and mayonnaise, then whisk or blend the soup until thick and creamy. Season with salt and pepper. Chill in the fridge before serving (at least 2 hours).

  6. 6

    Serve the gazpacho in soup bowls with croutons plus an extra drizzle of olive oil.

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