How to cook : gazpacho

Goodness. It's been a long time since I wrote a recipe under this heading! I know there's no cooking required with gazpacho, just so we're clear!!

I am going a bit loopy with this heatwave now though. It's taking forever to break isn't it!? I'm from England, and definitely not designed for a week in the Spanish sunshine and then a fortnight in a bloody heatwave back at home. It's true what they say, the heat is very different here. My little flat is also a heat-trap and it's really starting to rub me the wrong way. I guess it's a good thing, it should make the whole moving process easier if I can really build up a hatred for the level of insulation in my flat. 

Anyway. Gazpacho. As you may have guessed, this recipe was inspired from my recent trip to Nerja and what I used to buy from Waitrose. This is more of a super cold salad than the traditional cold soup, but there is totally room for the addition of soup if you wanted to go more traditional. At the moment, I'm loving this version. It's ridiculously cheap, healthy and probably hydrating! 

 What you'll need: 

~ Tinned chopped and plum tomatoes, or a LOT of tomatoes you can whizz in a blender.
~ 2/3 shallot onions
~ half a cucumber
~ 2 peppers, NOT GREEN, EVER
~ half a packet of radishes
~ a few stalks of celery
~ 2 cloves of garlic

~ salt, coarse
~ ground black pepper

~ big pyrex bowl!

This is your base recipe. Feel free to play around with it. I have started chopping up raw spinach and watercress and adding that into the gazpacho to give it a different texture, and a boost of vitamins etc!

I start with the cucumber, because it is incredibly full of water. I also absolutely don't chop by hand unless I absolutely have to. For this, and many other vegetables in this recipe, I used the side of a grater. PAY ATTENTION to what you're doing or you'll end up losing parts of your fingers. Once you have all the cucumber sliced up, give it a good pinch of coarse salt and a mix around.

Next the celery! This was chopped by hand with my big pink Jamie Oliver knife. I know most people are all like "eeeew celery!" but I've found that if you slice it up thinly, like shown in the picture, people become a lot more tolerant to it. To be honest, you barely taste it unless you're looking for it. The celery just gives a lovely fresh crunch. 

Now the onion. This can be done either by hand or in the grater. I opted for the chopping by hand method purely because I'm a sadist and wanted to brush up on my knife skills. Slice as thinly as you can length-wise then get your cross-chopping on until the onion is very fine. You really don't want to be biting down on big pieces of onion. That's just not right.

Now for the peppers. Try to keep them sort-of uniform. You don't want them to be too long either, so I cut them into quarters before slicing them up. I love a bit of chopping. It's really therapeutic.

I love radishes and their colour in this recipe is just awesome. I used half a packet of radishes and sliced them on the grater - very carefully!!

Season lightly with salt and pepper. 

Add a handful of ice and then the tins of tomatoes. If you wanted to add anything extra now is probably the time. Give it a really good mix around. Either leave to chill in the fridge until you want it or serve straight away.

I've used this as a main meal and as a side dish.

Super colourful. Super healthy. Super refreshing. I'm really proud of this one!!! :) Slight side note: Remember me banging on about being careful? This is why:

I was SO LUCKY that my nail bore the brunt and I didn't end up slicing into my finger. So please, please be careful people!!!! 

I hope you enjoy this recipe! :) 

Until next time <3 

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