Sorry this is a little bit tardy, but the gazpacho I have eaten in Spain has always been smooth, not chunky. Almost all gazpacho i've tried in the states has been too adulterated. I was taught to make it in Valencia by a friend's mother. It is ridiculously easy to make since it requires no cooking(other than blanching tomatoes).If you have a blender,you can make it. Look for recipes , in real Spanish cookbooks, not fusion or nuevo latino books. simple gazpaco= Tomato, cucumber,red or green bell pepper, onion, garlic, olive oil and vinegar, salt and pepper.
re: Thomas Paine
yep, smooth fer sure.
And as for it being ridiculously easy, I agree (having eaten a ton of good homemade gazpacho in spain), but it's damnedly difficult to find anything that tastes like gazpacho anywhere in this country. Always tastes like V8, or salad, or some darned thing or other.
I'll bet your Valencian friend made a heckuva paella, no? Another deceptively simple dish you absolutely won't find here. Or, for that matter, in Spain. Even in Valencia, restaurant versions are lame. Gotta be in a private house in Valencia, cooked by someone with Valencian blood.
I've gone on and on about paella on these boards...use the search engine on our home page
re: Jim Leff
Many gazpachos in the US are basically pureed tomatoes with other veggies and seasonings, with garnishes of crisp chopped vegetables and croutons. (Diana Kennedy writes that the favorite "flavor" in the US is "crispy" apropos of the ubiquity of hardshell pseudo tacos.) I agree with Jim that the effect is similar to V8 juice, and there is nothing to absorb the impact of the garlic and vinegar.
In Spain, most of the gazpachos that I had were based on soaked pureed bread and tomatoes. (Think cold papa e pomodoro.) The texture and flavor are far superior, and the excessive sharpness of the other ingredients is mellowed. This should be no surprise-- gazpacho comes from Arabic for bread and vinegar, I think (khubz -> gaz) and of course would have predated the introduction of both tomatoes and peppers.
I don't know what happened to the bread in the US; perhaps it is our crisp fixation; perhaps the idea of cold soaked bread isn't all that appealing. Until you taste it prepared the right way.