Gazpacho with Smoked Paprika Croutons

I‘ve been making a lot of gazpacho this summer to make the most out of tomato season. In the past, I’ve made it the very traditional way with stale bread to thicken the soup, but we had a huge heirloom tomato from my neighbor’s garden last week that was so good that I just pureed it with some cucumber, garlic, olive oil, and sherry vinegar. I tried to roughly measure out what I used:

1 large heirloom tomato (about 2 cups chopped)
2/3 c. cucumber
½ clove garlic
½ Tbsp good quality sherry vinegar
1 ½ Tbsp good quality extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper

I was going to strain it to remove the seeds and skin, but I found it not even necessary. This one tomato was kind of freakish in that it didn’t have many seeds and had a really thin skin. It was completely delicious, and less work for me!

To go on top, I made some smoked paprika croutons. I would normally use some kind of leftover, crusty bread to make croutons, but the only leftover bread I could find in the house was frozen hamburger buns. Not ideal, but it worked in a pinch! I removed the crust, cubed, tossed in some olive oil, salt, and smoked paprika. I put them in a 350 degree oven for probably about five minutes, until they were browned and crispy.

I served the gazpacho topped with some of the croutons, chopped chives, and a drizzle of really good extra virgin olive oil.

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