Before I left Barcelona, I took a cooking class at Barcelona Cooking, this newish cooking school on La Rambla that’s two stories above the street in this charming open loft-style place with it’s Spanish-born and Barcelona-trained head chef Candido Cid.

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They teach the classics but they are really dedicated to local, fresh produce and using what’s in season. That’s why we had strawberry gazpacho instead of the tomato-only gazpacho most people are familiar with, because strawberries happened to be in season. Turns out, I like it better than the original.

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The great thing about this recipe is two-fold: it requires no cooking and you can use other fruit like cherries or whatever is in season.

Ingredients:

2 slices white bread

350 g tomato

350 g strawberries

250 ml water

4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 tsp sherry vinegar

salt and pepper

mint leaves

small portion of brie

12 croutons

edible flowers (optional)

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The first thing we did was grate the tomatoes. It’s super efficient.

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Then slice the strawberries.

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Soak the white bread in the water and vinegar for five minutes.

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The mint is just chilling in some cold water, to keep it fresh.

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By the end you have this bowl of tomato puree and you add in the soaked bread, the strawberries, and the mint then blend.

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It only takes a few minutes of blending to get it smooth. Then you’ll want to drizzle in the oil olive and give it another whirl.

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That’s it, done!

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Of course Candido plated our soup very nicely. He added some more olive oil, salt and pepper, a few flowers, a bit of brie and croutons.

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It was too pretty to eat.

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Well for a moment.

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Nom. What does it taste like? It’s a very fresh, chilled soup. The salt, pepper and olive oil turn it into a dish, balancing it back, because otherwise it’s so light and cool you could just drink it. There might be a reason why you can buy orange juice style containers of chilled gazpacho from convenience store. Next year I’m making this with cherries.