Best served icy cold, gazpacho needs to be chilled for at least an hour. Here it's garnished with croutons for crunch and cilantro for a burst of bright flavor, but chopped cucumbers and onions are another traditional garnish.
Put the tomatoes, bell peppers, torn bread, 6 Tbs. of the olive oil, the vinegar, garlic, 1 tsp. salt, and a pinch or two of cumin in a blender. Pulse until coarsely puréed, then blend until very smooth, 4 to 5 minutes (it may be a bit frothy). Season to taste with salt and refrigerate until very cold, at least 1 hour.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining 3 Tbs. olive oil in an 8-inch skillet over medium heat. Add a bread cube; if it sizzles immediately, add the remaining cubes (if it doesn’t, continue to heat the oil). Cook, stirring frequently, until golden brown all over, about 1 minute. Transfer the croutons to paper towels to drain and cool.
Taste the gazpacho just before serving and adjust the seasonings as needed. Serve drizzled with oil and garnished with the croutons and cilantro.
Make Ahead Tips
The gazpacho can be made up to 2 days ahead and refrigerated, covered. The croutons should be made the day of serving the gazpacho.
Gazpacho with Drunken Shrimp: In a bowl, combine 1/4 cup 100% agave tequila, 1 Tbs. agave nectar, and 2 Tbs. fresh lime juice. Add 6 ice cubes and 1/2 cup cold water. Bring a saucepan of salted water to a boil. Place 1 lb. medium shrimp in a large sieve and drop the sieve into the boiling water. Immediately stir with a spoon. Cook until the shrimp are pink and curled, 15 to 20 seconds. Add to the bowl with the tequila mixture and let cool for 10 minutes. Drain and discard the liquid. Chill. Serve the gazpacho in small shot glasses, with one skewered shrimp garnishing each glass. Drunken Shrimp recipe courtesy Joanne Weir.
nutrition information (per serving):
Photo: Scott Phillips