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I made this for lunch yesterday as it was a hot and sunny day and I wanted something cooling and refreshing.

Today they are expecting temperatures up to 32c here in London!

Gazpacho is such an easy and cheap soup to make and I just love how it tastes. Many commercially made ones contain lots of oil and whilst its usually Olive Oil it’s still fat and each tsp contains 40 calories. My version is fat free as you would expect.

In the summer when tomatoes are plentiful and cheap you can use fresh tomatoes or as I’ve done here a combination of tinned and fresh. (Id eaten most of the tomatoes I’d bought but still wanted this to be full of tomato goodness and taste).

You can vary the amount of garlic and onion and play about with the combination of veggies to suit your taste and what you have in your fridge. Its a very forgiving recipe so feel free to vary the veggies and the relative quantities.

I’ve seen some weird and wonderful flavour combinations but I still prefer a tomato base. I have not added stale bread here but you can do. To do so soak it in the tomato juice, water and vinegar till soft before blending. You can also add some hot sauce, or some smoked paprika to vary the taste. I also find that a spritz of Worcester Sauce adds a je ne sais quoi. Now I’ve gone all French in what is essentially a Spanish or Portuguese recipe, but I digress.

If you make it in a food processor you will get a more grainy chopped texture. In a high powered blender it will be smoother as they tend to break down the cellular structure of the veggies. In a VitaMix you can add ice cubes but do not do this in any other blender unless it is suitable to do so. Just pop the soup in the fridge to cool before serving. I find this is even better the next day as the flavours develop when stored. It may separate when stored so just stir to amalgamate and serve.

Ingredients:

2 x small red or white Onions, peeled and roughly chopped
4 x ribs of Celery washed and chopped
1/2 of a large Cucumber, washed and chopped
Fresh Tomatoes chopped
2 Cloves of peeled and crushed Garlic
1 Red Pepper (or any colour), deseeded and chopped
1 14oz Tin of Tomatoes (optional – or use all fresh)
1 Tsp Veggie stock powder (optional but provides a good savoury base flavour)
2 x Tbsp White Balsamic Vinegar
2 x Tbsp White wine Vinegar
14oz approx Water (I just rinsed out the tomato Tin)
Ice cubes – if using a VitaMix

To garnish:
Any or all of the following:
Croutons (wholemeal pitta bread oven dried/toasted and chopped)
Balsamic glaze (optional)
Sprinkle of fake Parmesan – see previous recipe. (Not very spanish but nice nonetheless).

Method (makes about 4-6 portions):
Depending on the size of your blender or food processor add all or some of ingredients with some liquid and blitz until blended. If you want a smooth texture keep going if you want it with some bite pulse until all veggies are evenly very finely chopped.

Place on fridge to chill (or in a VitaMix add handful of ice cubes and blend again).

Serve garnished with croutons and balsamic glaze and a sprinkling of fake Parmesan.

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