1 (6-inch) piece of baguette, crust removed
2 pounds ripe tomatoes, 2 tablespoons finely diced, the remaining chopped
2 pounds strawberries, hulled, 2 tablespoons finely diced, the remaining chopped
1 medium cucumber, peeled, 2 tablespoons finely diced, the remaining chopped
1 large green bell pepper, 2 tablespoons finely diced, the remaining chopped
1/2 medium fennel bulb, 2 tablespoons finely diced, the remaining thinly sliced
1and 1/2 cups sparkling mineral water
3 garlic cloves, crushed
¼ cup basil leaves, loosely packed
1 tablespoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
A few dashes of hot sauce, or to your taste
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Preheat the oven to 350°. Cut bread into 1-inch cubes. Scatter the bread cubes on a baking sheet and bake for 8 minutes, or until crisp. Allow to cool.
In a large bowl, combine chopped vegetables and other remaining ingredients except finely diced vegetables and olive oil. Combine diced vegetables and refrigerate until service.
Working in batches purée chopped vegetable mixture in blender or food processor. Strain gazpacho through a fine sieve set over another large bowl. Refrigerate until chilled. Season the gazpacho with more salt, pepper and hot sauce if needed. Spoon the diced mixture into shallow soup bowls and ladle the gazpacho on top.
Drizzle each bowl of soup with olive oil and serve. Storage tip: To get a little more love from your berries, we recommend washing them in a 3–1 water to vinegar solution.
Allow berries to rest in solution for about 10 minutes. Pour into a colander and rinse well. Place berries on a sheet pan, preferably on a draining rack, and allow berries to dry well. Pat dry as necessary. A salad spinner lined with paper towels works well too. Store berries, refrigerated, in layers of paper towels in a zip top bag only partially closed to allow moisture to escape. The white vinegar solution destroys bacteria and mold spores, increasing the life of the berry by 2–3 times.… Read More