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At the restaurant we always offer a refreshing chilled soup during the summer months, and it’s invariably some form of Gazpacho. They are light and fresh, very healthy and utterly delicious!

From humble beginnings, Gazpacho has gone on to be the most revered and well-travelled chilled soup in the world. This refreshing soup has provided nourishment, quenched thirst, and sustained a body working in the hot sun for centuries. It even got a mention in the classic novel Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes when it was first published in 1605 and Gazpacho has been part of the fabric of Spanish culture ever since. Apparently, Cervantes completed his masterpiece in prison due to irregularities in his accounts while working for the government so he was probably starving at the time and longing for some fresh, tasty food.

Long before tourism, Andalucía was the poorest region of Spain. Gazpacho, like most of the regions dishes, was considered “food of peasants” and was originally made by pounding stale bread, water and garlic in a pestle and mortar long before the arrival of the tomato and the discovery of the new world. In modern time's, tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers were added and then spiked with a little olive oil and vinegar. This liquid salad is the perfect thing for long hot summer days.

Gazpacho is a breeze to make and keeps well for 2-3 day's in the refrigerator without a problem. I love making this nourishing and highly thirst quenching chilled soup. It has a certain reverence and ceremony about it. It's one of those dishes that the Spanish love to spend hours arguing about the best way to make and, although there are many variations, they all seem to contain garlic, olive oil and bread. Most Spaniards insist that all the ingredients should be mixed together and left to stand overnight in the fridge, as the day after, the flavours are more pronounced and defined.

In the height of summer, nothing quite hits the spot like a well-made, thirst quenching Gazpacho and as the old Spanish refrain says, De gazpacho no hay empacho--there’s never too much gazpacho!

Gazpacho Andaluz

Ingredients: serves 4

5 large ripe tomatoes

1 cucumbers, peeled and chopped

1 green pepper, de-seeded & chopped

edium onion, peeled and chopped

2tbsp sherry vinegar

300ml good olive oil

2tbsp tomato puree

2 slices of stale white bread

2 garlic cloves

300ml cold water

6 Ice cubes

2tbsp mayonnaise (optional)

Salt / pepper

Place all the ingredients, except the mayonnaise, in a bowl and marinate for at least 30 minutes. Place in a food processor and blend to a fine consistency. Pass through a fine sieve whisk in the mayonnaise, chill and serve in a soup tureen.

Chilled beetroot gazpacho with crumbled feta & mint

Ingredients: Serves 4

650g fresh beetroot, with stalks

800ml cold water (or enough to cover the beets)

500ml vegetable stock

1 tbsp sugar

250ml milk

150ml natural yogurt

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp Sherry vinegar

2tbsp virgin olive oil

Sea salt and black pepper

To serve:

150g feta cheese, crumbled

10 mint leaves, finely chopped

1 cooked beetroot, peeled & diced

Wash the beetroot in cold water and place into a large saucepan. Cover with 800ml cold water. Bring to the boil slowly, then turn down the heat and very gently simmer for 35 minutes. It’s important that the soup doesn’t boil too rapidly.

Remove from the heat and carefully take out the cooked beetroot. Leave to cool slightly. Peel the beetroots, cut into quarters and place them in a clean saucepan. Pour over the vegetable stock, add the sugar and bring slowly to the boil.

Remove from the heat and add the lemon juice, olive oil, vinegar, milk and natural yogurt. Blend with the MQ9 until completely smooth. Season to taste and chill for 2-3 hours.

To serve:

Divide the soup between 4 soup bowls and garnish with diced beetroot, crumbled feta and mint leaves.

Yellow gazpacho with smoked salmon and avocado

My yellow gazpacho is a very modern, light and colourful version that the guests at our restaurant adore in the summer months.

Ingredients: Serves 4

6 ripe yellow tomatoes

2 cucumbers, peeled, deseeded and chopped

1 large yellow pepper

1⁄2 medium white onion, peeled and chopped

2 tbsp sherry Vinegar

200ml good quality olive oil

1 garlic clove

300ml mango purée

6 ice cubes

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

TO SERVE:

8 slices smoked salmon

1 avocado, peeled and diced

Put all the gazpacho ingredients into a bowl and marinate for at least 30 minutes.

Transfer the marinated mixture to a food processor and blend to a ne consistency. Pass through a ne sieve (strainer) and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2–3 hours.

To serve, place 2 slices of smoked salmon in the middle of each of 4 chilled soup bowls and top each with some diced avocado. Pour over the chilled yellow gazpacho at the table.