Smooth and creamy tomato gazpacho.

I know, I know … I’ve totally been on a gazpacho bender. [My addictions could be worse.]

First, I made a traditional white gazpacho with cucumber, grapes and green apple. Then it was a chunky vegetable gazpacho recipe with celery, cucumber, jalapeño, bell pepper and, of course, tomato.

Here’s yet another variation on this classic Spanish cold soup, which I discovered in the latest issue of Fine Cooking. It’s a simple blend of minimal ingredients that really lets the summer tomato flavor shine. A bit of bread in this gazpacho recipe helps thicken the soup, and a pinch of cumin gives it character. This smooth and creamy gazpacho would be the ideal partner for a summer grilled-cheese sandwich.

smooth and creamy gazpacho

(makes about 4 cups)

4 cups chopped tomato (about 3 large)
1/2 large red bell pepper, chopped
1 clove garlic
1 hamburger or hotdog bun
6 Tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. sherry or champagne vinegar
pinch of cumin (optional)
pinch of smoked paprika or pimenton (optional)

Tear about one-quarter of the hotdog or hamburger bun into small pieces; measure out 1/4 cup of bread (packed). Transfer the bread, tomato, bell pepper, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, cumin and paprika into a blender. Pulse a few times to chop, then puree the mixture until it’s completely smooth and rather frothy, about 3 or 4 minutes. Taste the gazpacho and add salt; blend to combine. Transfer the gazpacho to a glass bowl, cover and refrigerate for at least an hour, preferably overnight.

Cut the remaining bun into 1/2-inch cubes. In a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, heat 2 Tbsp. of olive oil until it shimmers. Add bread cubes, toss to coat with oil and sauté the croutons until they’re deeply toasted and dark golden all over, about 3 to 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve gazpacho topped with croutons and a drizzle of olive oil.