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Tomatoes and time are two essential ingredients for making a good gazpacho, according to Ramon Salto, the sous chef at L'Albufera, the celebrated Spanish restaurant near London's Regents Park. The chef learned to make this cold soup in Andalucia, where the recipe is said to originate. But ask a dozen chefs that hail from this region and not one of their recipes is the same. "Some people like to add bread, others exclude cucumbers. Red and green peppers are often used. There is not a definitive recipe," Ramon explains. The key is in choosing ripe tomatoes (the plum variety if they are available) and allowing the soup's flavours to develop overnight. "If I want gazpacho tomorrow, I'll make it today," says the chef.
Try Waitrose Gazpacho (£1.99/600g). In addition to fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, garlic and red peppers, it has sun-dried tomato paste, minced chilli and coriander in the mix. It's delicious, refreshing and ready to eat - perfect for a hot summer's day when you're feeling lazy.
This recipe was first published in Fri Jul 01 01:00:00 BST 2005.