Friday, October 29, 2010

Day 25

Today we were in full force production. Our chef instructor made gazpacho and then we all had to construct our own within a specific time frame.  

Gazpacho is a Spanish soup from the region of Andalusia, made of a puree of raw vegetables. It was originally a white soup, the tomatoes being introduced after the discovery of the New World. It is considered a foreign soup and the thickening agent is usually stale bread.

The exact origin of the world gazpacho is unknown but some believe that the earliest version of the recipe was brought to Spain by the Moors (descendants of Northern Africa). It is said that horsemen would place the ingredients with bread in a leather pouch and place it under their saddles. The galloping motion would crush the vegetables and the bread would absorb the juices. 

Once you chop all of your ingredients (tomatoes, bread, red pepper, green pepper, garlic, tomato paste, fresh basil, and cucumber) you add in vinegar, oil, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper and use an immersion blender (or food processor) to blend up. Next you can run the soup through a food mill to create a smoother texture (I put half of mine through a mill because I like it a little more rustic). 

Next take the same ingredients that you put into your soup (minus the bread and tomato paste) and chop very fine for your garnish. I also used a mandolin to slice some cucumber to hold my garnish in place. The key is making sure that you season everything properly and well. This recipe turned out amazing!

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