Strawberry and Fennel Gazpacho
- 1 cup cubed day-old country bread, crusts removed
- 2 pounds ripest, chopped, most flavorful tomatoes, seeded; 2 tablespoons finely diced, for garnish, the rest
- 2 pound strawberries, chopped, hulled; 2 tablespoons finely diced, the rest
- 1 large green bell pepper, chopped, cored and seeded; 2 tablespoons finely diced, the rest
- 1/4 medium-size fennel bulb; 2 tablespoons finely diced, sliced, the rest thinly
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 1 1/4 cups chilled bottled spring water
- 2 medium-size garlic cloves, crushed with a garlic press
- Coarse salt, (kosher or sea)
DirectionsPlace the bread in a bowl, add cold water to cover, and let soak for 5 to 10 minutes.
Drain the bread and squeeze out the excess liquid.
Place the soaked bread and the chopped tomatoes, strawberries, green pepper, and fennel in a large bowl.
Toss to mix and let stand for 15 minutes.
Working in two batches, place the vegetable mixture in a food processor and process until smooth, adding half of the olive oil to each batch.
Once each batch is finished, puree it finely in a blender, then transfer it to a large mixing bowl.
Add the spring water and garlic (the gazpacho should have the consistency of a smoothie).
Season the soup with salt to taste and refrigerate it, covered, until chilled, about 2 hours.
Meanwhile, place the finely diced tomato, strawberries, green pepper, and fennel in a bowl and toss to mix.
Spoon the diced tomato mixture into shallow bowls and ladle the chilled gazpacho on top.
Drizzle olive oil over the surface and serve.