In the rainy season, the humidity in Choroni can reach levels that are almost unbearable. As a result, no one has any real appetite, but gazpacho is a cool, refreshing tomato soup that people will always want to eat, especially with the El Tesoro twist: cacao.
1 large red pepper, halved, seeds removed
1kg very ripe tomatoes
½ onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
½ large cucumber, peeled, seeds removed, chopped
150ml extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp white wine vinegar
3 tbsp raw cane sugar
3 tbsp finely grated cacao. Suggestion, Colombian Los Llanos 88
Roast the red pepper under a hot grill or on a griddle until the skin has blackened slightly. Allow to cool, then peel it. (Putting roasted peppers in a brown paper bag and leaving them to steam and cool can make them easier to peel.)
Blanch the tomatoes in hot water for 10 seconds, then refresh them in cold water. Peel, seed and roughly chop.
Place the pepper, tomatoes, onion, garlic and cucumber in a food processor and begin to blitz. While the processor is going, pour in the olive oil. Blitz the gazpacho until smooth.
Combine the vinegar and sugar in a small pan and heat until the sugar has dissolved. Stir in the cacao and continue to heat until the cacao has melted. Remove the pan from the heat and leave to cool slightly.
Stir the cacao syrup into the gazpacho. Season with salt and black pepper. Chill before serving.