GASPATXO ANDALUS (gazpacho, for six to eight)
11 slices day old coarse country white bread, about 10 ounces weight, crusts removed
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar, or to taste
3 pounds ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and roughly chopped
½ yellow onion, roughly chopped
1 cucumber, peeled, halved, seeded and roughly chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and roughly chopped
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
handful of ice cubes
For the garnish:
1 small cucumber, peeled, halved, seeded and diced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
2 hard boiled eggs, peeled and chopped
2 slices serrano ham, finely chopped
1.Place 9 slices of the bread in a food processor and spoon the vinegar over. Then add the tomatoes, onion, the cucumber and bell pepper chunks, 2/3 cup olive oil and 1 cup water and pulse until smooth. Add more water if desired – some people like their gazpacho thick, while others prefer a runnier consistency – and pulse again. Season to taste with salt and more vinegar, if desired.
2. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 2 hours and up to 4 hours.
3. Meanwhile, cut the remaining 2 bread slices into ½ inch cubes. In a frying pan over medium high heat, warm the remaining 1/3 cup olive oil. Add the bread cubes and fry, stirring often, until golden brown on all sides, about 3 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain.
4. Just before serving, transfer the gazpacho to a serving bowl and add the ice cubes. Place the diced cucumber, diced bell pepper, hard boiled eggs, ham and prepared bread crumbs in individual small bowls to serve as garnishes. Pass the bowls at table for guests to top their soup as desired.
adapted from Paul Richardson, Barcelona