Sunny Spain is the spiritual home of many of the world’s great chilled soups, and zesty gazpacho is the leader of the pack. There are as many gazpacho recipes as there are Spanish cooks: while some versions use bread, some leave it out; some add onions, others don’t; some gazpachos are chunky while others are smooth and pourable. Lesley Russell’s version for the Thermomix is the latter, perfect for splashing into glasses. Served alongside a heaping platter of smoky grilled prawns coupled with spicy chorizo and garlicky aioli, the gazpacho makes a wonderfully refreshing finishing touch to a lazy weekend lunch with friends.
For this recipe Lesley consulted her friend Lindl, who spent many happy years in Spain as private chef to an ambassador. “We collaborated on the gazpacho,” Lesley says. “We tweaked the taste here and there; a little more of this, not too much of that until Lindl exclaimed: ‘That’s it! That’s the taste; that’s the taste of summer in Spain’.” That taste, of course, depends on properly ripe tomatoes.
If you can, make the gazpacho a day ahead the flavour will improve further. The aioli can be made as much as five days before you need it.
A cautionary word from Lesley about aioli: “The first time I made it I felt it wasn’t garlicky enough, so I blithely added a few more cloves. It tasted gorgeous but a few hours later when I served it to my hapless guests, the garlic had ‘grown’ to such an incredible degree that it had everyone reeling. So if you feel you‘d like a little more garlic, hasten slowly; wait a few hours, taste it again before adding more.”