Thomasina Miers’ tomato gazpacho with strawberries. Photograph: Louise Hagger for the Guardian. Food styling: Emily Kydd
A refreshing, fragrant take on the classic Spanish summer soup, plus a quick and easy pork dish with creamy, herby broad beans on the side
I was lucky enough to be invited to the Waterside Inn in Bray last month, to celebrate the Roux brothers’ 30 years with three Michelin stars – quite a feat. They spoiled us rotten with small renditions of their classic dishes, one of which was a simple strawberry gazpacho that was refreshing, fragrant and deeply satisfying all at the same time. It inspired me to make my own version.
Like strawberries, broad beans are also in the height of season, though you could use frozen for the herby, garlicky puree to go with glazed, fennel-spiced pork (and you don’t need to peel the skins, either). Magic.
Tomato gazpacho with strawberries
The cucumber, chilli and oil add savouriness to the tomatoes and strawberries, while the almonds give body (if you’re allergic to nuts, use bread for bulk instead). The soup should be very cold. Serves four.
60g blanched almonds 2 fat cloves garlic, peeled, cut in half lengthways and green core removed Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 1 small bunch basil (set aside a few leaves to garnish) 1 red chilli, stem removed 1 Lebanese cucumber (or ½ a large one) 300g strawberries, stems removed 6 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil 2 tbsp sherry vinegar 1.2kg very ripe tomatoes
To serve 2 small Hass avocados, peeled, stoned and diced (do this at the last minute, so they don’t discolour) A few strawberries, diced The juice of 1 lime Extra-virgin olive oil
Put a frying pan on a medium heat. Toast the almonds, shaking the pan occasionally, until pale golden and nutty-smelling. Tip into a food processor and blitz with the garlic, a teaspoon of salt, the basil and chilli, until the nuts are ground to dust. Top and tail the cucumber, add to the processor with the strawberries, oil and vinegar, and blitz to a smooth puree. Add the tomatoes and plenty of black pepper, and blitz until smooth – if your food processor is too full, transfer half the mix to a bowl and blitz in two phases.
Now taste: chilling dulls the flavours, so make sure you can taste all the ingredients, and season with salt, pepper and vinegar as needed; if you like heat, you may want to add another chilli, too, but chop it finely before you whizz it in, so it gets fully incorporated. Pour into a suitable container, cover and chill for a good few hours.
When you are ready to eat, roll up the reserved basil leaves and shred finely. Put the diced avocado and strawberries in a bowl, season and add the lime juice and a few tablespoons of oil.
Serve the soup in small bowls (it is very filling) garnished with spoonfuls of avocado and strawberry relish and a scattering of basil.
Griddled pork tenderloin with crushed broad beans
The beans are laced with herbs, poached garlic and lemon, and make a comforting cloak for the juicy, smoky pork. An easy way to impress friends. Serves four to six.
2 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped Sea salt and black pepper 3 bay leaves, roughly chopped 1 heaped tsp fennel seeds ½ tsp black peppercorns ½ tsp dried chilli flakes (Turkish, ideally) A few sprigs fresh thyme, picked and roughly chopped A few sprigs fresh rosemary, picked and roughly chopped
50g dark brown sugar 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar 800g pork loin fillet Olive oil
For the broad bean puree 4 cloves garlic, peeled, cut in half lengthways and green core removed 2 bay leaves 300ml single cream 400g podded broad beans (fresh or frozen) A squeeze of lemon 1 handful each fresh dill and mint, picked and roughly chopped 1 small handful pine nuts, toasted
Crush the garlic in a mortar with half a teaspoon of flaky sea salt. Add the bay leaves, fennel, peppercorns and chilli, grind for a few minutes, then work in the herbs. Stir in the sugar and vinegar, then rub into the pork with a few tablespoons of oil. Put in the fridge to marinate for an hour.
Put the garlic in a pan with the bay and cream, and bring slowly to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer gently until the garlic is soft, about 10 minutes. Discard the bay and blitz the garlic and cream with a stick blender. Return to the heat and simmer gently while you cook the beans in a pan of salted water for a few minutes, until just tender.
Drain the beans, add to the cream mix and blitz until half the beans are crushed and the rest retain some shape. Season, add the herbs and a squeeze of lemon, and keep warm.
Heat a griddle pan on a medium heat. Rub the fillets in oil and season well, then grill for about 10 minutes in all, brushing frequently with the oily marinade, until blackened and glazed all over. Remove from the heat, leave to rest for five minutes, then cut a piece in half – if it needs more cooking, slap it back on the griddle. Cut the fillets into avocado-length slices, then cut each slice diagonally in half. Serve with the warm broad bean mix, the meat’s resting juices, a few extra herbs and a scattering of pine nuts.
And for the rest of the week
I can drink gazpacho at any time of day, though I particularly like it for breakfast when I’ve overdone things the night before – it’s a really refreshing, and also filling, alternative to toast. The bean puree is gorgeous tossed just as it is into spaghetti; before serving, scatter in a few extra herbs and olive oil to liven it up. Cut leftover pork into wafer-thin slices, and toss into a stir-fry or eat cold for lunch with apple chutney and a few salads.