Gazpacho is delicious and refreshing – a combination of sun-ripened tomatoes, cooling cucumber, fresh herbs and a slight vinegary zing makes for an uplifting offering. But thanks to using fermented tomatoes, there is a roundedness to the taste of this particular recipe: the fermentation process makes the tomatoes less acidic, richer and deeper in flavour, and increases the beneficial bacteria content of this dish, which is already full of nutrients and antioxidants.
- 500g fermented tomatoes*, roughly chopped
- 200g cucumber, roughly chopped
- 1 red pepper, fresh or roasted, deseeded and diced
- 1 spring onion, trimmed and roughly chopped
- 2 garlic cloves (fresh or fermented), chopped
- 1 tbsp sherry vinegar (plus extra to taste)
- Small handful of soft herbs (parsley, basil or coriander), chopped with stems
- 75 ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- A few pinches of salt & pepper
- 2 tbsp fermented tomato brine (or brine from another ferment)
- ½ tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- ½ tsp chilli flakes
- 2 slices of sourdough, toasted and torn into chunks
- Finely diced cucumber and fresh herbs to serve
Using a food processor, blend the soup ingredients and blend until smooth.
Strain through a sieve and then add the remaining pulp back into the blender with the brine and blend again. Sieve into the bowl or jug with the rest.
Taste and adjust the flavour by adding more vinegar, brine, salt & pepper or olive oil. If you add oil, blend again to emulsify the oil into the soup.
Use a funnel to transfer the gazpacho to a clip-top storage bottle. You can leave this to ferment in the fridge for a few days if you’ve used fresh tomatoes and brine or enjoy it straight away. Lightly shake before serving.
To garnish, grind the seeds, paprika and chilli and serve sprinkled on top of the gazpacho along with chunks of toasted bread, fresh herbs and diced cucumber.
Store leftovers in the fridge and use within 10 days.
(*) To ferment your tomatoes, you will need to add the tomatoes whole into a clean/sterilised clip-top jar and create a 5% brine solution to pour over to cover. You can also add herbs and garlic cloves in as well. Seal the jar and allow these to ferment for at least 2 weeks. If you don’t have fermented tomatoes, just use fresh and add a few extra splashes of brine from another ferment to achieve the desired taste.
Allergens: Sesame seeds. CNM recommends the use of organic ingredients.
Recipe by Nena Foster , Natural Chef graduate for the ICSA-accredited Natural Chef Diploma Courses at the College of Naturopathic Medicine (CNM). Photography by Indi Petrucci