Recipe of the week

Gazpacho in Andalusía began centuries ago as a light soup made with stale bread softened with water and flavoured with oil, garlic and vinegar. Later, more sophisticated gazpachos made with almonds became popular in Málaga and Córdoba. With the arrival of the tomato, green bell peppers and cucumbers from the Americas, a more colourful and fresher version became a staple of the Andalusian kitchen, especially in summer.

If flavoursome tomatoes are not available you can greatly enhance the flavour of the gazpacho by macerating the chopped vegetables and all the rest of the ingredients for at least two or three hours, or better overnight, before blending. To obtain the texture Andalusians consider the best, which is slightly grainy, gazpachos used to be prepared using a pestle and mortar, but an electric blender does a good job.

  • 50g stale bread, crusts removed and crumbled
  • 1kg ripe, tasty tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, deseeded and chopped
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and sliced, plus a little extra, diced, to serve
  • 100ml Spanish extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2-3 tbsp sherry vinegar
  • Sea salt
1. Soak the bread in some water and when well-soaked, squeeze the water out.
2. Place the tomatoes, bell pepper, garlic, cucumber and bread in a food processor or blender. Start blending to a creamy consistency, adding the olive oil little by little. Season and add vinegar to taste. Add cold water gradually until the desired consistency is reached, then blend again.
3. Place in the fridge until ready to serve, garnished with diced cucumber.
NOTE: Gazpacho should be served very cold, however, to my taste it does not need ice before serving. As it melts, ice dilutes the concentration of the vegetables and therefore the flavour.

Cocina de Andalucía: Spanish Recipes from a Thousand Landscapes, by María José Sevilla, is published by Ryland Peters & Small, price £22. Photographs by Nassima Rothacker

Rather leave the cooking to the experts? We can find you the perfect candidate; from Housekeepers to Gardeners, Nannies to Carers, we source only the most exceptional candidates for your home.
The Lady, home of domestic recruitment now has three options to suit every need and budget. For more information and to get the ball rolling, SIMPLY CALL 020 7379 4717 OR EMAIL