Sunday, 1 July 2012

Viva la Zuppa!

Gazpacho Speciale
Gazpacho Speciale

So here we go sports friends! The final- Italy versus Spain! So what better way to dine before the big match than with an Italian's version of a Spanish gazpacho? I thought it would be fun- as well as tasty, light and refreshing for a Summer evening- and a sign of good will to boot! Being as "booting" is what this game is all about!

For sure a Spaniard would make this different- but at the same time, there are also bound to be hundreds of different versions of the "authentic" or "original" gazpacho... so for my part- I am saying if it tastes good- it IS good! And this did! So if you would care to know how this British-born Sicilian made his gazpacho this evening... read on!

The basis of this was of course tomato- and here is where my first shock for you is about to materialize... I used canned tomatoes! The reason being, that with fresh tomatoes, no matter how wonderful they may be, they do give off their juices and you do end up with a lot of excess water in the soup. And I know that there are plenty of tricks, like adding bread or bread crumbs, to soak up the juices... but I just didn't want to be doing that this evening... plus out tomatoes are just not that good yet!

So to the tomatoes I added finely diced cucumber- of which I removed the center part with all of the seeds- also to reduce the excess juices, a finely chopped Spring onion, a crushed and puréed clove of garlic, some finely sliced celery, finely chopped black olives and some tabasco. I mixed these ingredients together well, add just a little salt, pepper and sugar, and chilled it for a couple of hours in the fridge, so that all of the flavors could infuse and combine nicely.

When it came to serving, I lined my bowl decoratively with cucumber slices, which I seasoned with sea salt and crushed black pepper. I then filled the bowl with the tasty tomato soup and added plenty of fresh thyme, more black pepper and sea salt, a couple of leaves of basil to garnish and a nice drizzle of extra virgin olive oil... delicious!

I enjoyed mine with some fresh ciabatta bread and a nice chilled glass of white Corvo... and now... the game can begin!

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