I do love to cook… but with this incredible heat, it’s been very hard to approach the cooker… So we’ve had an excuse to visit a lot of the local restaurants – always on the lookout for new ideas too! While at home, a lot of our meals have been made outside on the BBQ and included a variety of cold dishes – like this easy Spanish gazpacho.
Gazpacho is a cool, refreshing and flavourful tomato based soup which is perfect as a starter to any meal on a hot summer day.
Origin of Gazpacho
This popular cold soup originates in southern Spain, on a hot and dry region called Andalusia but has many different influences from Greece and Rome, but also from the Moor’s and Arab culture.
The original soup was blended stale bread, olive oil and garlic, with some liquid like water or vinegar that was pounded together in a mortar. Different vegetables and almonds that were available were also added. During the 19th century, gazpacho evolved when tomatoes were added making it into the red version that we all know today.
You can eat gazpacho from a soup bowl (with raw vegetable toppings like diced peppers or onion) or drink it from a glass. Either way, it is very tasty, refreshing and very healthy.
Spanish Gazpacho vs Portuguese Gazpacho
This dish is very popular not only in Spain but also in Portugal. The main differences are the texture: in Spain the ingredients are blended into a smooth soup while in Portugal we like to dice all the ingredients and eat it like that. For most of our summer meals, in my house back home, my dad would grill some beautiful fresh fish and my mum would make a delicious cold gazpacho. and that is the taste of summer for me 🙂 When my parents came for visit i couldn’t resist so my mum made us her gazpacho, that way I could show my boyfriend what I was talking about. All the other times I have made him the Spanish version so it was nice for him to taste our version too 🙂
One little note – to achieve a silky and smooth soup, make sure you peel your tomatoes – check out my easy way to peel tomatoes and enjoy! Oh, and to make sure it’s served really cold, I like to add a couple of ice cubes to the serving glass/bowls 🙂
Easy Spanish Gazpacho
- 1 kg very ripe tomatoes peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped
- 1 day old baguette inside only (optional)
- 1 cucumber peeled, seeded, coarsely chopped
- 1 small onion coarsely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 red bell pepper coarsely chopped
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Cucumber slices for garnish
- Start by soaking the bread in a small amount of water (a few tablespoons). Gently remove and squeeze dry.
- Place the tomatoes, bread, cucumbers, onion, garlic and pepper in a blender.
- Blend until the mixture is smooth. All the ingredients may not fir at one time, so you may have to fill the blender several times.
- Add the vinegar and pulse until it is completely incorporated.
- If you prefer a smoother texture, strain the gazpacho at this point, and return to the blender.
- Add the olive oil little by little, while the blender is running until completely incorporated.
- Once the gazpacho is completely blended, pour into a large non-metallic bowl.
- Season with vinegar, salt and pepper. Mix well, cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. If you don't have enough time, add a couple of ice cubes o each glass when serving.
- Garnish each glass with the sliced cucumber and serve.