Nothing Says Summer Like Gazpacho!

Posted by Wilson Richey

Video Credit: GDZ Photo

Summer Gazpacho by Wilson Richey, Farm Table Café

Adapted from “The Virginia Housewife” cookbook by Mary Randolph, 1824

Serves 4-6 people

  • 8 medium sized tomatoes
  • 1/2 baguette, or the equivalent from day-old, country-style bread
  • 4-6 small cucumbers
  • 2-3 medium white onions
  • 4 tablespoons yellow mustard
  • 2 cups good olive oil
  • 2 cups water
  • Salt and pepper

You will need:

  • 1 pot for boiling water
  • 1 medium sauce pan
  • cooking tongs
  • a food mill or some cheese cloth
  • a beautiful bowl for presenting the finished soup.

Start a pot of water boiling and preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Dice bread into small croutons and lay them out on a baking sheet. Place croutons in the pre-heated oven for 10-15 minutes to lightly toast.

While the water is heating, remove the naval of the tomatoes and cut a shallow X at the bottom of each. Whenboiling, put as many tomatoes in the pot as will fit – you may have to do this in batches. After 2-3 minutes,remove the tomatoes with tongs and place on a baking sheet to cool.

Using the tongs, gently remove the skins of each tomato and discard.

Dice the onion and cucumber. (A small dice is best.)

Dice two of the tomatoes to the same size as the diced cucumbers.

Take the remaining 6 tomatoes and roughly chop, then place in a medium-sized sauce pan. Cook on the stovetop until well softened, and season lightly with salt and pepper.

Once soft, place the stewed tomatoes into a standard food mill and pass through to remove seeds and make into a rather loose sauce. (If you do not have a food mill, you can do the more historically-accurate method of squeezing the tomato pulp through a sack made of several layers of cheese cloth.)

In the serving bowl, lay down layers of the chopped ingredients in the following order: bread cubes, skinned/chopped tomato, chopped  cucumbers. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with chopped onions. Repeat this process until the bowl is almost full.

While the tomato sauce is hot, slowly whisk in mustard, oil and water. Carefully pour the mixture over the layers in your bowl to ensure that the liquids are well-incorporated into the layers.

For best results, make the gazpacho approximately 2 hours before it is eaten. Finished soup is best served at room temperature, or slightly chilled – not cold!

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