A step-by-step guide to making Gazpacho

16 Oct 2013
3 min read
FOUR’s weekend ‘How to’: a step-by-step guide to making Philippa Sibley’s Heirloom tomato gazpacho with crab, avocado and fino sherry jelly, featured in her latest cookbook New Classics…
Philippa Sibley’s step-by-step guide to making Gazpacho

We’re holding onto the warmer months with this ‘How to’ on summer’s staple – gazpacho. But when we came across this classic chilled Spanish soup flicking through a preview copy of Philippa Sibley’s latest cookbook, New Classics, which is set to be released on 11 November 2013, we couldn’t quite help sharing it with the world.

If you’re a native of the northern hemisphere and find our thrusting of such a summery dish in your direction an unforgiveable seasonal faux pas, we urge you to stash it away for a sunnier day. Or if, like us, the tempatation to try this delectable find too much, why not allow yourself to be transported to the sunnier climes of the Mediteranean by serving it up as a weekend treat, along with warm, crusty bread and lashings of crisp white wine.

Philippa Sibley’s New Classics by Philippa Sibley (£25, Hardie Grant) photography: Mark Roper

serves 6


500 g (1 lb 2 oz) mixed ripe heirloom tomatoes

1 red capsicum (bell pepper), deseeded and


1 Lebanese (short) cucumber, peeled and chopped

1 small red onion, peeled and chopped

1 small garlic clove, peeled

½ red bird’s eye chilli, deseeded

80 g (2¾ oz) fresh bread, crust removed

(ciabatta or good-quality white sourdough)

2 egg yolks

1 tablespoon sherry vinegar

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

salt and pepper

100 ml (3½ fl oz) fino sherry

1 leaf gold-strength gelatine, soaked in cold water

200 g (7 oz) cooked crabmeat (I use spanner crab,

available raw or cooked from good fish suppliers)

2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice

To serve

250 g (9 oz) mixed mini heirloom tomatoes

1 baby cucumber

1 perfect avocado

basil shoots


1. Place all the vegetables, the garlic and the chilli into

a blender or food processor and process until they are all

well combined but not too smooth.

2. Tear the bread into small pieces. Place it in a bowl and pour over

the puréed vegetable mixture. Leave to soak for 20 – 30 minutes

or until the bread becomes mushy. Put the bread and vegetable

mixture back into the blender and process again until smooth.

3. Push the mixture through a strainer into a pitcher or bowl.

4. Put the egg yolks and sherry vinegar in a bowl and whisk well.

drizzle in the extra-virgin olive oil very gradually, continuing to

whisk, until you have a mayonnaise.

5. Now slowly pour in the puréed vegetable mixture, whisking

continuously, until combined. Season with salt and pepper and

a little more sherry vinegar if you think it needs it. Set aside

and keep cool in the refrigerator until serving (remove from the

refrigerator 1 hour before serving).

6. Warm the fino sherry in a small saucepan over low heat until

just warm enough to dissolve the gelatine (hot to the touch, but

not bubbling). Squeeze the excess water from the gelatine and

add the gelatine to the sherry. Swirl to dissolve the gelatine then

pour the mixture into a shallow container and refrigerate to set.

7. If you are using uncooked crabmeat, first cook it gently in a

little olive oil over medium heat for about 2-3 minutes, until

opaque. Season the crab with salt and pepper and some lemon

or lime juice.

To serve

8. Randomly cut up the mini heirloom tomatoes and slice the

baby cucumber and avocado. Divide the crabmeat into serving

bowls. Arrange the tomatoes, cucumber and avocado decoratively

over the top. Spoon some little bits of the fino sherry jelly around

the bowl and scatter over some basil shoots. Pour the cooled

gazpacho around the garnish and serve.