As the sunny weather dwindles in England there is still something to be cheerful about-ripe, late summer vegetables. Gazpacho is one the best ways to reap their tasty goodness. Its bracing icy texture and sharp garlic tomato flavour are pure refreshment. For the last couple of weeks my family and I were in Antibes, in France’s sunny Cote d’Azur. The beautiful seaside beaches and lovely towns are straight out of a movie set, but I can’t say the same for the food. You need to fork over big cash to get the good stuff. Even the local market made the London Borough market look like a bargain. We struggled to find good food that wasn’t overpriced but did come across a little gem cafe run by three Danish women, called Copenhagen. They made a gazpacho which featured a salsa of granny smith apples. The crisp tart fruit in the velvety smooth vegetables was pure genius. Although it’s Spanish by heritage, this quintessential cold soup is served all over the Mediterranean. Over the years I have created different versions for magazines and a previous cookbook, Small Bites. Anything from beetroot (fantastic colour and taste), ancho chili puree, chopped boiled egg, croutons or crabmeat can be used to top off or swirled through. One basic stays the same though-RIPE vegetables.
Gazpacho with granny apple salsa
prep time 10 minutes
500g or approx. 6 juicy ripe tomatoes
half a large cucumber or 2 small Lebanese
1 medium sweet white or red onion
1 pepper (yellow or red)
1 handful of white crusty bread
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp sherry vinegar
400ml/1 and 3/4 cup chilled vegetable or chicken stock
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp pimenton (smoked Spanish paprika)
1 granny smith apple
Roughly chop the vegetables, except the apple, discarding the cores and cucumber peeling. Save a small amount to dice up for the salsa. Mix the vegetables with the vinegar, oil, salt, paprika, bread and stock. Puree in a blender or food processor until very smooth. Core and finely dice the apple. Mix with the reserved diced veg and set aside. At this point you can chill the soup for 3 hours or pour immediately over cups of ice. Sprinkle the diced vegetables over and drizzle with a bit of extra virgin olive oil.