When people think of traditional Spanish dishes, one the first that comes to mind is gazpacho, a chilled soup made with tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, bread and typically thickened with olive oil and bread.
Chef Juan Suarez de Lezo, a native of cordoba, whose family has hailed there for centuries, introduced me to this wonderful, simple soup. Much like the Tuscan speciality Pappa al Pomodoro, the main ingredients are tomatoes, bread, garlic and olive oil. While Juan serves the classic dish with Burrata and compressed tomatoes, the base which is what you would find in any traditional Cordoba eatery, he shared here.
As a child, de Lezo often cooked with his mother and grandmother, author of an award winning european tomb on cooking with olive oil, . Though his grandmother wasn't using a vitamix, you can't get more authentic than this.
Serving Size: Serves 10-12
5 large red ripe tomatoes, cored
1/3 of small-medium yellow onion
1 clove garlic, germ removed
3 cups of nice quality boule or white rustic loaf, torn, white part only* (about quarter of 1 large boule)
¼ cup-1/2 cup nice quality olive oil (preferably a fruity Spanish Olive oil, that is not too spicy or strong in flavor
Kosher salt, to taste
Optional garnish: shredded hard boiled egg, olive oil or Iberico ham
Blend tomato, garlic and onion for minutes in a blender on high. This enhances the creaminess and elevates the temperature of the tomato mixture so the color red intensifies.
Add the bread and blend another 5 minutes on high. Turn to medium low and drizzle in about ¼ cup olive oil slowly until the color of the soup turns an intense orange color and thickens.
Chill down overnight to allow the flavors of the soup to marry.
Serve chilled with garnish.