Tomato gazpacho has always been one of my favourite summer soups. There are so many different takes on how it is presented in terms of the accompaniments that are plated with it. I have seen the addition of slice olives, capers, cucumber, spring onion, large basil leaves and the usual ones like diced bell pepper, garlic croutons and sliced tomatoes.
This version is one of my favourite ways of making it as I add fresh green peas, cherry tomatoes, pumpkin seeds (I would definitely use toasted pine nuts here but I did not have them), beautiful micro basil and pea shoots.
If you prefer a heartier more robust soup you can definitely skip the straining process but I love the light texture of the soup when it is passed through a cheese cloth or very fine sieve.
This works wonderfully as a light starter. When I was a private chef on sailing yachts the guests loved this cooling and refreshing starter in the hight of summer.
One more note - but it crucial. Make sure you serve this soup as cold as possible. I highly recommend chilling the bowls you are serving it in and having the soup in the fridge over night make such a difference in terms of how the flavours merge together.
1 DAY. SERVES 4
500g of baby plum tomatoes, roughly chopped
1/2 cucumber, roughly chopped
1/2 red pepper, deseeded and roughly chopped
1/4 red onion, roughly chopped
10 basil leaves
15ml of Cabernet Sauvignon vinegar
10ml of olive oil
5g of salt
5g of sugar
150ml of tomato juice
1 handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
40g of fresh peas
40g of toasted pine nuts or pumpkin seeds
2 radishes, thinly sliced
extra virgin olive oil
micro basil (the smallest leaves you can find on your bunch of basil)
The day before, prepare the gazpacho. Place all the ingredients for the soup, except the tomato juice, in a large bowl and mix well. Cover and leave to infuse overnight.
The next morning transfer the gazpacho to a blender and blitz together until thoroughly combined. Pass through a fine sieve or use a cheese cloth to ensure it is completely smooth and add the tomato juice to adjust the consistency until it forms a pourable soup. Season to taste and chill in the fridge until required.
To serve, arrange the cherry tomatoes, fresh peas, toasted pin nuts or pumpkin seeds nicely in a bowl. Carefully pour the gazpacho around the garnishes and drizzle with some olive oil.
Sprinkle over some pea shoots and small basil leaves. Alternatively you can arrange the garnishes in the individual bowls. Bring them to the table and pour the soup at the table.
As I said before make sure the soup is as cold as possible and serve it in chilled bowls.