This scrumptious chilled soup by watercress.co.uk, photo by Lara Jane Thorpe, is stunning all year round; tasty and healthy but, thanks to the peppery hint of watercress there’s a warming sensation left in the mouth.
Prep time: 45 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
For the gazpacho
1kg ripe plum tomatoes, cored and chopped
1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
1 red pepper, deseeded and chopped
1 green pepper, deseeded and chopped
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 spring onions, finely chopped
75g stale crusty bread, chopped
2-2.5 tsps sherry vinegar
2-3 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
For the croutes
50g Manchego cheese or parmesan, finely grated
1 small baguette, thinly sliced
Olive oil, for brushing
Place all gazpacho ingredients in a large bowl. Season well with salt and pepper. Mix everything together, pressing down firmly to squeeze out the juices. Cover and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or preferably overnight.
Put the mixture into a blender and blitz until smooth. Check the consistency, adding more olive oil if the soup is too thick. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Cover and refrigerate again until thoroughly chilled.
Preheat the oven to 180®C. Make the croutes by thinly slicing the baguette. Brush the slices with olive oil and sprinkle grated Manchego or parmesan on top. Bake for 6-8 minutes or until crisp and golden brown.
To serve, taste the gazpacho for a final time and adjust seasoning if necessary. Sprinkle with some chopped watercress, drizzle with a little more olive oil and serve with the croutes on the side.