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Gazpacho with Spiced Crab Toasts
Gazpacho with Spiced Crab Toasts
Italian
Starter
Over 2 hours
Vegetables/vegetarian
Easy
Serves
4 to 6

Ben Tish's take on the humble gazpacho is paired with perfectly light yet fragrant crab toasts, offering the ideal textural accompaniment to the famed Spanish soup. In Ben's words:

"It would be hard to find a Spanish dish with more recorded history than the gazpacho. Traceable back to Roman times, when soldiers on the march would carry stale bread, vinegar and garlic to make a quick soup when on the go, it wasn’t until much later that the Arabs started flavouring this traditional mix with herbs, vegetables and nuts.

The word gazpacho is often used generically across Spain to describe a cold soup, whether it be an ajo blanco or a salmorejo, but the true gazpacho, a medium thick, piquant, chilled tomato soup, drinkable from a cup or glass, was first honed in Andalucía. The Moors married the technique with the local glut of tomatoes, pounding everything together to make this brilliantly refreshing, sharp soup.

There are as many variations on gazpacho as there are soups based on texture and flavourings not to mention the garnishes which can range from eggs and jamón, to all varieties of chopped vegetables and beyond – all have a place in the gazpacho pantheon. This is my version."

Recipe courtesy of
Moorish by Ben Tish (Bloomsbury Absolute, £26) is out now. Photography by Kris Kirkham.
Ingredients

Gazpacho

  • 1kg very ripe plum tomatoes
  • 1 large red pepper, deseeded
  • ½ cucumber, cut into chunks
  • 1 large banana shallot, chopped
  • 1 fresh red chilli, cut in half lengthways
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • a handful of basil, leaves picked
  • 70g day-old crusty bread, roughly torn
  • 300ml fresh, good-quality tomato juice
  • 50ml extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to drizzle
  • 100ml moscatel vinegar or white balsamic
  • sea salt and black pepper 

Crab toasts

  • olive oil
  • 2 slices of sourdough bread, cut into 6 pieces
  • 200g white crab meat, picked over to remove any shell or cartilage
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • lemon juice, to taste
  • 1 small fresh red chilli, finely chopped
  • a handful of coriander leaves, chopped
Method
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Method
  1. First make the gazpacho. Quarter the tomatoes and pepper, and put all the ingredients in a bowl or other container along with 100ml of cold water and some seasoning. Cover and leave in the fridge for at least 4 hours, or overnight, to allow the flavour to develop.
  2. Transfer the tomato mixture to a blender (you will need to do this in 2 batches) and blitz to a purée – the consistency should be that of a thick soup. Pour into a bowl. Check the seasoning. If the gazpacho is too thick you can add a splash of water. Return to the fridge to keep cool until ready to serve.
  3. For the crab toasts, heat a sauté pan over a high heat, add some olive oil and fry the bread on both sides until golden brown and crisp. Transfer to kitchen paper to drain. Mix the crab with the cumin, lemon juice, chilli and coriander, and season to taste.
  4. To serve, pour the gazpacho into chilled bowls and drizzle over some extra virgin olive oil. Top the bread slices with the crab mix and place in the gazpacho bowls

The Pass was created to help the many people now struggling to feed themselves and their families as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. If you like or use this recipe, please consider making a small donation to Hospitality Action to help those whose livelihoods have all but disappeared.

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