cucumber & grape gazpacho

I know what you're thinking! I roll my eyes too when I hear the word gazpacho, but this one is different! Promise! We are in the middle of summer and it is hot hot hot out there. This is exactly what you need right now! Fresh, light, complex, rich flavour profile, and quick, easy, fuss-free cooking! Give it a go. You won't regret it. 


For the gazpacho:
2 large cucumber
4 sticks of green celery, chopped
handful of parsley, roughly chopped
handful of dill, chopped
100 g green grapes
2 green chillies, deseeded and chopped (or leave the seeds in if you like it extra hot)
250 ml natural full-fat yoghurt
2 thick slices of white bread, crusts removed
3 tbsp sherry vinegar
100 ml olive oil

For the chili-sumac croutons:
200 g dry, two-day-old bread, crusts removed
100 ml olive oil
3 garlic cloves, bruised using the back of a heavy knife
Coarse sea salt
½ tsp crushed dried chilli
1 tsp sumac

To serve: 
Spicy chili oil! 



1. Slice a quarter from one of the cucumbers and leave to one side. Peel, deseed and roughly chop the rest and place in a food processor. 

2. Add the remaining ingredients, except the oil, and pulse to a rough puree. Add the oil and pulse again until very smooth (or as smooth as possible). Transfer to a jug and chill for a minimum of 2 hours (if you're pressed for time you can also put it in the freezer for 20-30 minutes).

3. To make the croutons: break the bread into medium-sized pieces. Then flavour the oil: to do this, heat the oil in a frying pan, add the garlic cloves and fry until golden, then remove with a slotted spoon and discard. 

4. Add the bread to the flavoured oil and fry until evenly golden. Season with sea salt, stir in the chili and sumac and leave to cool. 

5. When ready to serve, partly peel the remaining section of the cucumber, then deseed and chop it into small cubes. 

6. Spoon some gazpacho into bowls and top with the chili croutons and chopped cucumber. Drizzle with hot hot chili oil and serve.