“This cold vegetable soup, from southern Spain, was originally made by pounding the ingredients together in a pestle and mortar," says Michael Caine, the award-winning chef-patron of the Georgian country house hotel Lympstone Manor. "For the best result all vegetables must be ripe and the soup, once blended, should be left for 6 hours to marinate before serving, enabling the flavours to integrate. Seasoning is the key here too, playing on sweet, sour and salty to best effect."
Preparation time 25 minutes, plus marinating and chilling
• 3 red peppers, roughly chopped
• 8 ripe beef or plum tomatoes, roughly chopped
• 1 small onion, peeled and roughly chopped
• ½ a cucumber, roughly chopped
• 1 clove garlic
• Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• Cayenne pepper
• Sherry vinegar
• Sugar (if needed) For the garnish
• Cucumber, peeled, seeds removed, and finely diced
• Soured cream
• Basil oil
• Micro basil sprigs/small basil leaves
1. Put the chopped peppers, tomatoes, onions, cucumber and garlic in a food processor and blend to a rough purée. Transfer to a blender and continue blending until fine and smooth. Pass through a fine sieve into a bowl. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and leave in the fridge overnight, or for at least 6 hours.
2. After the soup has marinated, season with salt, cayenne pepper and vinegar to taste. For the garnish, put a spoonful of the diced cucumber in the bottom of each soup bowl. Pour over the soup. Serve ice-cold, garnished with a swirl of soured cream and a drizzle of basil oil and a sprinkle of basil sprigs or leaves.