Summer Tomato Gazpacho with Manchego & Rustic Croutons

Makes: 8 servings

Note: Make sure you cut the garnish items while you are prepping the gazpacho ingredients.

3 pounds vine ripened tomatoes cut in halves
1 bunch basil washed and cut
4 cups sourdough bread cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 red pepper seeds removed and diced
2 cucumber peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon red onion dice
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup sherry wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves minced
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 cup water possibly 2 depending on the consistency you prefer

½ red pepper medium dice
½ cucumber medium dice
1 bunch scallions fine dice
Sourdough croutons
Manchego cheese shaving

Add first 11 ingredients in a large mixing bowl, Squeeze and mix well so the juices are released from the tomatoes.

Marinade gazpacho mixture for 1 hour. In a blender or food processor puree gazpacho mixture in batches.

Strain gazpacho and adjust salt and pepper

Chill for at least 4 hours and up to 1 day.

Serve in a chilled bowl top off with your garnish ingredients.

Summer Gazpacho Tips

1. Adding bread is very important. The bread adds body and a certain creaminess if not you have a thin salsa

2. Use only fresh, obscenely ripe tomatoes, leave the puree in the pantry

3. Make sure all vegetables are chilled prior to preparation

4. Use a good quality extra virgin olive oil

5. Never use ice cubes to chill the soup, you will only dilute the flavors. Use an ice bath

6. Make it well in advance at least 2 hours so it will have time to chill or
make it a day ahead. All the flavors will come out more.

7. Garnish is very important not only for color but the fresh vegetables and croutons will add texture to your chilled soup

8. Can freeze up to a month. If you do freeze add a splash of vinegar and fresh herbs to make the flavor pop