Summery gazpacho soup with Spanish ham and basil

Doesn’t food taste better when it looks pretty?  I certainly believe so.  I completely wrecked my fried egg the other day, had a complete tantrum about it and ended up literally flinging everything onto the plate – I was so mad about it looking crappy that I’m convinced I didn’t enjoy it as much.

Homemade gazpacho with Spanish ham

This homemade gazpacho is one of my favourite pretty looking dishes I’ve made in recent weeks – the colours are just so summery and inviting.  Plus it’s very tasty and with this current heat wave I could eat bowlfuls of this chilled soup.  There was some interest on my Instagram about the recipe for it, so here it is.

Summer gazpacho soup

It makes a couple of bowlfuls…depending on your bowl and belly size.  I am inclined not to be too specific about amounts of things in a recipe like this – I’m sure if you can get one of those long red romano peppers than an ordinary bell pepper would be just the same, and the same with the tomatoes, if you want it more tomatoey in flavour, add more or use vine tomatoes and not baby ones.

Chilled gazpacho soup

This recipe is inspired by an original from Nigel Slater.

Summery Gazpacho Soup

400g baby plum tomatoes
2 small yellow peppers (or 1 large)
1 romano red pepper
1/2 cucumber
Couple of spring onions
1 garlic clove
1/3 small red onion

Seasonings: salt, vinegar (I used red wine the first time, and cider vinegar the next), extra virgin olive oil, and paprika.

Gazpacho soup with Spanish ham and basil

1. Prepare all your vegetables and add them to a blender as you go: slice the tomatoes in half and squeeze out the seeds (this is a dangerous task – wear an apron!).  Remove the seeds from the red and yellow peppers and cut into rough chunks.  Cut the cucumber into chunks.  Roughly chop the spring onions, a small amount of red onion, and a clove of garlic.

*The original recipe used 6 large tomatoes that were skinned first before deseeding.  If using large tomatoes it might be wise to skin them – I decided to use baby tomatoes and there was no way I was skinning them.

2. Blend all the vegetables until you reach a consistency you like.

3. Season the soup to your liking by adding salt, vinegar, extra virgin olive oil and paprika.

4. Chill in the fridge before eating.

5. I followed the advice of Nigel Slater’s original recipe which suggested topping it with some Serrano ham.  I chose a delicious fancy-pants Spanish ham from Waitrose, the kind where the pigs have been fed on acorns, but any cured ham like that would be a lovely addition.  I also torn up some basil leaves and sprinkled them over too.

Gazpacho soup garnished with Spanish ham and basil

What’s your favourite summer soup?