Most of the time I cook based on what I have in the cupboard or fridge, throwing together weird and wonderful concoctions, experimenting and exploring to come up with new ideas. And sometimes I delve into my shelf of cookery books and consult one of the experts. I’m no expert, really: I just do what I love and love what I do. Delia Smith, however, is a great British institution, and her gazpacho recipe (from The Complete Illustrated Cookery Course) is ten times better than anything I’ve managed to come up with so far. So, Delia, thank you. I’ve made some tweaks to suit my cooking style, but don’t we all? (This recipe was published in A Year In 120 Recipes, with written permission from Delia herself, which was really lovely!)
Serves 4 at 33p each
½ cucumber, 25p (50p each, Asda)
½ a small onion, 3p (55p/1kg, Farm Stores at Asda)
2 fat cloves of garlic, 3p (20p/bulb, Asda)
1 red, orange or yellow pepper, or 200g mixed frozen peppers, 33p (£1.25/750g, Asda)
2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes, 58p (29p/400g, Smartprice at Asda)
1 tsp sugar, or to taste, <1p (65p/1kg, Asda)
a few basil leaves or sprigs of parsley, 4p (55p/basil plant, Asda)
2 tablespoons oil, 3p (97p/1l, Asda)
1 tablespoon vinegar, <1p (24p/568ml, malt vinegar a
First dice your cucumber. Peel and finely slice the onion. Peel and chop the garlic. Deseed and chop the pepper. Reserve about a quarter of the chopped vegetables and set to one side while you make the soup.
Put the remaining vegetables, along with the tomatoes, in a blender. Chop enough basil or parsley to fill 1 teaspoon. Add the basil or parsley, oil, sugar, vinegar and seasoning. Blend everything at top speed until the soup is absolutely smooth. Taste to check the seasoning, adjust if necessary with more salt and pepper, and pour into a large bowl.
Stir in a little cold water to thin it slightly – 150–275 ml/5–10 fl. oz. Pop it in the fridge to chill thoroughly – or if you’re in a hurry, add a few ice cubes and stir them through until melted. When you’re ready to serve, ladle the soup into bowls. Either scatter over the reserved vegetables or pass them round for everyone to help themselves.
This recipe was published in A Year In 120 Recipes, with photography by Susan Bell.
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