The early autumn here is rather strange – some days are ‘cold-to-the-bones’ and some days are warm like summer. Hence the plants in my allotment are not doing too well. If your garden still has some tomatoes, it’s lovely to use them in Gazpacho, Spanish Cold Tomato Soup.
At the start of each growing season, gardeners look forward to harvesting their first crop. I’m fortunate to have a great community at my allotment garden. Every few days, I will find surprises left on my lot. I’ve taken back many kilos of produce – courgettes, tomatoes, cucumber, mix lettuce, gourds, andijvie – than what my lot grows 😀. That’s the best thing about allotment gardening – the community sharing knowledge and food with each other.
I had 22 tomato plants, all was going well until blight (a tomato plant disease) hit across the entire allotment. With a heavy heart, I disposed of all the plants and rescued some green tomatoes which i turned into a divine green tomato chutney.
Gazpacho is a great way to use up the abundance tomato harvest. More like a drink than a soup, this refreshing Spanish recipe is perfect when you need a cold salty lunch. A great gazpacho recipe starts with epic tomatoes – because this preparation is raw, there’s no hiding a sub-standard produce. Go for the best!
Normally, bread is added to thicken the soup. You can substitute with rolled oats or just totally omit it. My Spanish colleague had 3 helpings when I made it, as he said it tasted quite similar to his mom’s. Yeah score 😊
Note: For those who don’t do well with raw tomatoes or capsicum, you can blend all the ingredients (except vinegar) and bring the mixture to gentle simmer, then cool it down and chill it. If you cook the mixture with vinegar, the taste will be extremely sour. Before serving, mix in the vinegar.
- 1kg ripe plum Tomatoes - cored and cut into quarters
- 1 Cucumber - cut into pieces
- 1 Capsicum (red pepper) - deseeded and cut into pieces
- 2 Garlic cloves
- 2 Spring onions - finely chopped
- 2 tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar, or to taste
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 tablespoon Rolled Oats (optional) or 2 pieces of stale bread
- Salt & Pepper
- Place the tomatoes, cucumber, capsicum, garlic and spring onions in a large bowl. Mix in vinegar, salt and pepper, a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Cover and chill for 30 mins (if you are in a hurry, can skip chilling it).
- Put the mixture into a blender and whiz until smooth. If the consistency is still rather thick and not very rich, add another 1 or 2 tablespoon olive oil until you reach a consistency you like. Taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary. You might need a little more salt or vinegar. Cover and chill in the fridge, until it is really cold and you’re ready to serve.
- To serve, stir the gazpacho and taste again as the seasoning may have changed as the soup is now very cold. Adjust as necessary, then serve with an extra drizzle of olive oil.