Strawberry Tomato Gazpacho
What better way to get to know the heart of a place than sharing in a country's food culture? International cooking workshops make for a lovely experience-based activity that intimately connects travelers to the place they are visiting. BARCELONA COOKING offers a four hour hands on cooking class complete with a trip to La Boqueria, a public food market dating back to the 13th century. Gazpacho de fresas, a smooth version of the usually chunky soup, is one of Chef Candido's specialties. Originating in the Andalusian region of Spain, today gazpacho refers to any uncooked, chilled soup made with a tomato and bread base. This light and healthy soup is best in early summer when local strawberries are abundant and at their dreamy sweet and juicy peak.
This soup may be made in a Vitamix. Simply put all ingredients (except the goat cheese) in at once and whir on a low setting until smooth. Larger tomatoes, so long as in season, may be used but must be seeded first.
2 slices white bread, crusts removed
2.5 cups strawberries, hulled
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2.5 cups tiny tomatoes
8 ounces cold water
2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
8 large mint leaves
Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
Soft goat cheese (optional)
Edible flowers (optional)
1. Soak the bread slices in cold water with 2 teaspoons vinegar for 5 minutes.
2. Rinse the strawberries and pat them dry. Slice them into halves. Wash and chop the tomatoes. In a bowl, combine the strawberries, tomatoes and mint and mix with an immersion blender for two minutes.
3. Squeeze the excess liquid from the soaking bread and add to the strawberry mixture. Continue blending while adding one cup of the water.
4. Slowly add the olive oil to make an emulsion. Season with sea salt and pepper to taste. Cover and chill in the refrigerator.
5. Just before serving, make a small dice of several strawberries and a few mint leaves. Reserve.
6. Divide the soup into serving bowls. Add a small dollop of goat cheese to the center and carefully top with a small amount of the diced strawberries and mint, or edible flowers. Serve immediately.