I discovered my passion for gazpacho a few years ago when I was really into hosting themed dinner parties. For my 25 birthday I invited over 16 of my friends and cooked an Andalusian inspired meal. This year, I celebrated my birthday at Prune, a tiny restaurant in the East Village of New York City. The gazpacho I had there was thick and richly spiced, served over a piece of burnt toast. I couldn’t get it out of my head and as soon as I got home I was at the MSFM, hunting for the perfect specimens to use in my favorite recipe. I settled on some beautiful Indigo Rose tomatoes, but you can use any that you have on hand–literally any variety will produce a beautiful soup.
This soup is best after it’s had a couple of hours or more to chill in the fridge, but I routinely whip up a batch to go with dinner at a minute’s notice. We sip it out of little jelly jars and don’t bother with spoons.
Begin by mincing the garlic finely, then sprinkle with salt, and with the flat side of a knife or some blunt instrument (mortar and pestle works perfectly for this), crush into a paste.
Quarter the tomatoes and coarsely chop. Combine half of the tomatoes, the garlic paste, one tablespoon of Sherry vinegar, sugar and cumin in the bowl of a food processor, blender or mixing bowl (if using an immersion blender) and purée until smooth.
Add the remaining tomatoes and with the motor of your blender or food processor running, slowly drizzle in 3 T. olive oil. Taste and adjust seasonings (I tend to use 2 T. of Sherry vinegar because I like the taste).
Serve chilled (if you can stand to wait that long).
Yield: 1 quart