Felicity’s perfect gazpacho – Felicity Cloake

Word of mouth blog The Guardian

The real secret to gazpacho, if we assume your ingredients are ripe and your fridge cold, is good olive oil, and lots of it. Meanness has no place here, unless you’re a frugal peasant – pour it in in great glugs, and then add vinegar to taste – sherry is the best, as gazpacho is an Andalusian dish, but red wine vinegar will do at a pinch. Don’t be tempted to chill the soup with ice cubes; you’ll just dilute the flavours – make it well ahead instead, so it has time to chill before serving. Choose your garnishes with care – mint is deliciously refreshing, olives add a nicely rich, savoury element to the clean flavours of the vegetables – and please, insist that everyone tries it before they make their excuses about cold soup.


serves 4

100g slightly stale crusty white bread, soaked in cold water for 20 mins
1kg very ripe tomatoes, diced
1 ripe red pepper and 1 green pepper, deseeded and diced
1 medium cucumber, peeled and diced
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
150ml extra virgin olive oil
2tbsp sherry vinegar
Salt, to taste
Garnishes – see below


1. Mix the diced tomatoes, peppers and cucumber with the crushed garlic and olive oil in the bowl of a food processor or blender. Squeeze out the bread, tear it roughly into chunks, and add to the mixture.

2. Blend until smooth, then add the salt and vinegar to taste and stir well.

3. Pass the mixture through a fine sieve, then cover and refrigerate until well chilled.

4. Serve with garnishes of your choice: I liked diced black olives, hard-boiled egg and small pieces of cucumber and pepper; mint or parsley also works well, and many people add spring onion, cubes of Spanish ham and so on.