For the Soup
1 slice country-style bread, about 1″ thick, crusts removed
2 small cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and chopped
2 lb. very ripe tomatoes, seeded and coarsely chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped (more if you love garlic)
2 tbsp. sherry vinegar
1⁄2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (it helps to soften acidity in tomatoes)
Sea Salt and fresh pepper (ideally white) to taste
1⁄2 green or red pepper, seeded and finely diced
1⁄2 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and finely diced
1 cup (1/2″) croutons
1⁄2 small red onion, peeled and finely diced
1 small tomato, seeded and finely diced
1 avocado, medium dice
Chopped almonds, or Marcona almonds served on the side
Soak bread for 1⁄2 hour in a small bowl in water to cover. Squeeze out moisture with your hands.
Purée bread, cucumbers, tomatoes, garlic, vinegar, olive oil, and 1 cup water in a food processor or Vitamix until very smooth.
Push purée through a coarse sieve with the back of a wooden spoon. Gazpacho should be fairly thin. Season to taste with salt. (If made in a Vitamix, or if you don’t mind little bits of tomato skins, you can skip this step.)
Allow gazpacho to rest in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours so that the flavors develop. Taste to adjust the seasoning. Serve in individual glasses or in soup bowls with garnishes on the side.