Gazpacho with cucumber sorbet

Serves 4

This is a particularly special gazpacho. The sorbet can be made a day or two in advance for a dinner party.

For the gazpacho

200ml tomato juice
4 large ripe plum or round tomatoes, roughly chopped
2 red peppers, halved, seeded, stalks removed and roughly chopped
Half a small onion, peeled and roughly chopped
Half a cucumber
1 small clove of garlic, peeled and crushed
1tbsp white wine vinegar
tsp cumin seeds
A good pinch of sweet paprika
1 slice of white bread, crusts removed
40ml olive oil
Salt and freshly ground white pepper

For the cucumber sorbet

100ml olive oil
1tbsp caster sugar
350ml vegetable stock
12 small Greek cucumbers, or 3 normal ones
15g mint leaves
Salt and pepper

No more than a couple of days before you want to eat the soup, make the sorbet. Split the cucumbers lengthways and scrape out the seeds with a spoon, then roughly chop the flesh. Blend the cucumber with the vegetable stock, olive oil, sugar and the mint leaves until it's the consistency you like – chunky or smooth. Season to taste and churn in an ice cream machine. Leave in the freezer until you're ready to eat.

The day before you'll be eating, put all the ingredients for the soup into a bowl, cover with clingfilm; leave in the fridge to help merge the flavours. Liquidise in a blender until smooth and strain through a fine-meshed sieve for a smooth version, or leave as it is for a more robust soup. Chill for an hour.

The soup can be served with hot croutons as well as the cucumber sorbet. Fry 1cm cubes of white bread in olive oil until they begin to colour, then add a clove of peeled and crushed garlic and continue frying until golden. Transfer to kitchen paper and season if required. Serve the gazpacho in chilled soup bowls with a scoop of sorbet in the middle and, if you've made them, the warm croutons scattered on top.

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