Gazpacho is among Spain's most famous exports, but in most cases, something was lost in translation. While, there are many regional variations to this dish, none of them resemble the ubiquitous chilled salsa-like soup which usually passes for gazpacho stateside. If you aren't yet acquainted with gazpacho the way the Spanish envision it, try this recipe - you will be a convert!
Rioja pairing: The acid from the sherry vinegar and tomatoes would pair well with the bright fruit of a young red Rioja, or the crisp acidity of a chilled un-oaked white.
To jar or blender, add tomatoes, garlic, onion, pepper, cucumber, salt, paprika, and sherry in small batches; whirl until smooth, about 2 minutes.
Add ¼ of the bread; blend while slowly drizzling in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Repeat until all bread and olive oil has been added and mixture is fluffy and smooth.
Strain mixture through a fine mesh strainer; chill at least two hours.
To serve, garnish with sea salt, olive oil, paprika and croutons, if desired.
For croutons: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cut reserved French bread crusts into small cubes. In small bowl, combine crust with olive oil and salt; toss until bread crusts are coated. Spread crusts onto cookie sheet; bake until golden brown and crunchy, about 10 to12 minutes.