This delicious gazpacho is truly the best gazpacho recipe around, or so we've been told by our Spanish friends with strong opinions on Spanish food. The process for making this recipe is a little different than most, and the payoff is in how great it tastes. It's fresh, bright, refreshing, and creamy tasting. You'll LOVE it!
3lbsripe tomatoes, cored and cut into chunks
8ouncesEnglish cucumber, about 1, cut into chunks
5ouncesred bell pepper, about 1, cut into chunks
5ouncesred onion, about ½, cut into chunks
2clovesgarlic, peeled and smashed
1jalapeño pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into chunks
1 ¼cupsextra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
2tablespoonssherry vinegar, plus more for serving
2tablespoonsfinely minced chives
8ounceshalloumi cheese, cut into large cubes
Put the tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper, red onion, garlic, and jalapeño into a large bowl. Toss the veggies with the salt then let them sit on your counter for 45 minutes. This step releases the liquid from the vegetables.
3 lbs ripe tomatoes, 8 ounces English cucumber, 5 ounces red bell pepper, 5 ounces red onion, 2 cloves garlic, 1 jalapeño pepper, 2 teaspoons kosher salt
Separate the vegetables from the liquid, reserving the liquid. Place the vegetables on a parchment paper-lined tray and place them into your freezer for at least 30 minutes, or until they are partially frozen. This step may take longer depending on your freezer.
Remove the tray from the freezer and let the vegetables thaw completely.
Combine the thawed veggies and any juice that accumulated on the tray, the reserved juice, olive oil, sherry vinegar, and black pepper into your blender. (If you have a smaller blender, combine everything into a large bowl then work in batches to blend the soup. Blend on high speed until smooth and creamy. Serve immediately or chill for up to 3 days.
Serve with extra olive oil and a sprinkle of chives, black pepper, and fried halloumi (see below) over top.
2 tablespoons finely minced chives
Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add the halloumi and cook, undisturbed, for 2 minutes. Once it's golden on the bottom, turn the pieces over and cook for 2 minutes more.
1 tablespoon olive oil, 8 ounces halloumi cheese
Top the gazpacho with the fried halloumi and serve immediately.
You can make this up to step 2 in advance. Just allow more time for the veggies to thaw as they will be quite frozen. Also, if you are going to freeze this for more than a day you will also want to freeze the juice separately.For dairy-free/vegan gazpacho, simply omit the fried halloumi topping.