Gazpacho, the vegetarian Spanish cold soup for hot days
I never thought I would be excited about a soup on a hot day... Gazpacho is a classic dish from Spain, more precisely from Andalusia, a large region located in the south of Spain where summers are particularly hot. The legend says that Gazpacho was brought to Spain and Portugal by the Romans who were mixing together olive oil, garlic, old bread, salt and vinegar. Later, during the 19th century, tomatoes were added to the mix to make it the modern version of this classic of Spanish cuisine. This vegetarian raw dish is served chilled as an appetizer and feels like magic on a sunny hot lunch time.
Serving: 4 to 6 persons Preparation time: 30 minutes
6 large tomatoes
2 boiled eggs
1 large peeled garlic clove
1 green bell pepper (paprika)
2 table spoons of olive oil
1 table spoon of vinegar (Xeres traditionally but anything will do)
1/2 tea spoon of smoked paprika (optional)
Step 1 - Prepare your ingredients
Peel the cucumber, empty it from its seeds, save 1/3 for plating
Cut your tomatoes in quarters, remove the little pockets of seeds carefully and put them on the side as you will need those at the end of the recipe when plating
Empty the green bell pepper (paprika) from it's seeds and cut it into a few rough chunks. Save 1/3 for plating
Step 2 - Prepare the soup
In a blender, add:
Your 2/3 of peeled cucumber
The flesh of your 6 tomatoes (no seeds! Remember, we save them for the end of the recipe)
Two generous table spoons of olive oil
One table spoon of vinegar
A small chunk of old white bread
Your clove of garlic (peeled)
Your 2/3 of the green bell pepper (paprika)
A generous pinch of salt
Blend everything together as if you were preparing a smoothie, You may add a few table spoons of cold water if you feel that the soup is a bit too thick to your taste but be careful, gazpacho should have a bit of body.
Important! Once your gazpacho is ready, pass it through a sieve (strainer) so you can remove the little pieces of skin from the tomatoes. These little pieces of skins would not be pleasant in the soup when eating.
Put your soup to the fridge, Gazpacho must be enjoyed chilled!
Step 3 - Plating your gazpacho
In a deep plate start by adding the garnishes before pouring the soup, that means that in your empty plate you should be placing:
A bit of diced cucumber from the 1/3 you have left
A couple of the small pockets of seeds from the tomatoes
A bit of diced green bell pepper (paprika) from the 1/3 you have left
Two wedges of boiled egg
Now you can start pouring your soup! Get the gazpacho from the fridge, start pouring but be gentle, do not overflow the plate with the gazpacho, the goal is to be able to see your garnishes floating on the soup.
I recommend to eat this dish with a nice piece of bread fried in olive oil and rubbed with a fresh garlic clove. A glass of chilled white wine or even a gin tonic would work very well with this dish too.
Enjoy! Bon appétit!