Gazpacho is soup served cold and makes a great starter on a warm summer’s day. This recipe makes the dish even more summery by using strawberries in a savoury dish. The sweetness of the fruit adds a lovely dimension of flavour to the other ingredients – red peppers, cucumber and spring onions. You won’t believe it works until you try it!
- 600g fresh ripe strawberries, hulled
- 1 red pepper, quartered, deseeded
- 1⁄2 a cucumber
- 4 spring onions, chopped
- 1 small clove garlic, peeled and crushed, optional
- 1tbsp fresh tarragon leaves
- 2tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 4tbsp olive oil
- Salt and ground black pepper
- Marcona almonds, lightly roasted, and bread, to serve
- For the garnish:
- Tarragon leaves
- Ice cubes
- Chervil leaves
Keep back about 125g of the best-looking strawberries, a quarter of the pepper and a 5cm piece of the cucumber. Put them in a bag and keep chilled.
Roughly chop the rest of the strawberries, put them in a large bowl and mash lightly. Dice the rest of the pepper and peel, deseed and dice the rest of the cucumber. Add to the berries along with the spring onions, garlic, if using, tarragon, vinegar, oil and seasoning. Mix and mash together, then cover and chill for 4 hours or overnight.
Tip the mixture into a blender and whizz until smooth. Check the seasoning, add a little water if you want to thin it down. Chill until ready to serve.
To make the garnish: Dice the reserved strawberries, pepper and cucumber. Mix in finely snipped tarragon leaves. Pour the soup into the bowls, add a few ice cubes and spoon in the garnish. Grind black pepper over and drizzle with oil. Garnish with chervil. Serve straight away with almonds and bread.
Serve with warm crusty bread for the perfect lunch