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Gazpacho in a glass. Photo - CGissemann/


The freshness of fennel and lemon add a modern zing to our favourite cold soup for hot days.

The original gazpacho was a Spanish peasant’s response to not much left in the cupboard – bread, water, oil and garlic. 


But once tomatoes and capsicum arrived from the New World in the 16th century, the soup got tastier. I don’t like raw garlic so I leave that out, add it back if you do. The bread gives the soup a satisfying creaminess, but if you are off carbs, leave that out too. The only real requirements for this simple dish is that the tomatoes are tasty, the soup cold and the sun shining!


What you need:

2 slices of good quality white bread

1 kg ripe tomatoes, diced

1 cucumber, diced

1 red capsicum, seeds removed, diced

½ fennel bulb, diced

1 red chilli (as much as you like, thinly sliced)

zest of a lemon

100ml extra virgin olive oil

1 tbsp sherry vinegar


What to do:

Soak the bread in water for an hour, then squeeze out the water.

Put everything but the vinegar in a food processor and blend until smooth.

Test seasoning and add salt, pepper, sugar or more chilli to taste.

Strain through a colander or sieve, depending how chunky you like your soup, then add the vinegar.

Serve chilled, with an extra swirl of olive oil.


Optional toppings include fresh basil or marjoram from the garden, diced black lives or boiled egg, crisped prosciutto or chunks of prawn.


Text: Robin Powell

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Author: Robin Powell