Gaspacho or gazpacho, it’s all delicious

Gazpacho ready for garnishing. The cold tomato soup is a great summer dish.
Gazpacho ready for garnishing. The cold tomato soup is a great summer dish. EL NUEVO HERALD

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Gaspacho Andalous

Prep time: 35 minutes

Serves 4 to 6

Candy Hearn of Rancho Murieta is growing tomatoes this summer and was looking for recipes calling for fresh tomatoes.

Gazpacho is the perfect summertime dish, cold, refreshing and full of vitamins and fiber. We featured this recipe in a June 2010 Mailbox column. It comes from “Cuisine Sante, The New French Cooking for Healthy Gourmet Eating” by Christophe Buey and L’Ecole de Cuisine Francaise Sabine de Mirbeck (Viking, 1987, 192 pages, $18.95).

Note: Fines herbes is a combination of finely chopped fresh herbs used in French cuisine: 2 tablespoons parsley, 2 tablespoons chives, 2 tablespoons chervil, 1 tablespoon thyme and 4 teaspoons tarragon.

1 pound ripe tomatoes

1 small cucumber

1 green bell pepper

1 red bell pepper

1 onion, peeled

1 quart tomato juice

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cayenne pepper, to taste

½ cup fines herbes

1 tablespoon fresh tarragon leaves, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, peeled

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons tarragon vinegar

Toasted whole-wheat bread croutons, garnish

Wash and trim all vegetables as necessary and cut into small pieces. Reserve 4 tablespoons of each for garnishing (rinse the chopped onion before use). Place the remainder in a food processor or blender and purée.

Add the tomato juice slowly, plus 2 pinches of salt, some black pepper and the cayenne, half the fines herbes, and the tarragon. Place in the refrigerator or freezer to chill well.

When ready to serve, using a pestle and mortar, mash the garlic, a pinch of salt, a little pepper and the remaining herbs together to make a thick paste. Add the olive oil slowly, working to blend well.

Blend the chilled gazpacho again in the food processor, adding the garlic paste and the vinegar alternately, a little at a time.

To serve: Adjust the seasoning if necessary, and serve in a large bowl. Serve immediately; the soup quickly loses its goodness and flavor. Arrange the croutons, along with the reserved chopped vegetables, in bowls from which the guests can help themselves.