Gazpacho is a cold vegetable soup, with its origin in Andalusia. It is a Spanish dish which is very popular in Spain, few regions of Latin America and Portugal. It is a tomato based soup made up of raw vegetables. The acidic bite and cold temperature of gazpacho makes it as a favorite drink of people in summers. It is a kind of liquid salad, which is prepared by combining various raw vegetables along with garlic, salt, vinegar, olive oil and stale bread.
Gazpacho comes from very old Roman concoction. This dish became popular in Spain when the Romans did lot of hard work in building roads across Spain in scorching heat of the sun. Gazpacho, a creamy soup, provided great level of relief to the Romans from blazing heat and helped in replenishing the lost vitamins and salt during physical exertion.
Gazpacho Recipe – Ingredients
- Most of the gazpacho recipes include tomato, cucumber, stale bread, garlic, bell pepper, olive oil, salt, and wine vinegar as the main ingredients.
- Apart from the above given ingredients, few recipes also make use of onion as an ingredient.
Gazpacho Recipe – Preparation
- Preparing gazpacho is not difficult. The basic preparation method is described hereunder.
- All the vegetables are properly washed and garlic, onions and tomatoes are peeled. All the vegetables and herbs are chopped. Puree form of tomatoes is used for preparing the dish. The stale bread is soaked in water for some time and mixed with the mix of herbs and vegetables. Half of the ingredients are blended together until liquid consistency is attained. After that, vinegar, olive oil, salt and chilled water are added to the liquid, according to the taste. The remaining vegetables and herbs mix is blended with the liquid. The liquid is garnished with diced tomatoes, slices of bell pepper or any other kinds of fresh ingredients. The cold liquid soup, gazpacho, is ready to be consumed now.
- In traditional times, gazpacho was made by beating the vegetables with the help of pestle and mortar. This way of preparing the dish is also favored by some people these days, as it helps in keeping the soup cold and also helps in achieving entirely smooth consistency that is created by making use of food processors and blenders.
Gazpacho Dish - Garnishing
While preparing gazpacho, variety of garnishes may be used. Garnishing may include the same vegetables that were used to make the liquid soup. However, instead of using them in puree form, diced vegetables are used for garnishing. Garnishes can be either served by adding them on the top of soup or can be served separately. In most of the cases, garnishes are served in a different bowl separately, so as to allow the consumer to add them himself or herself to the cold soup. In some places, this soup is also served along with ice cubes, in case someone wants to drink it extra chilled.
Gazpacho Recipe - Variations
There are various variations of gazpacho, which can be defined in terms of texture, viscosity and composition of ingredients. Family tradition and geographical location are the factors which may lead to variation in this cold soup recipe.
• A few cold soups that are similar to gazpacho include salmorejo, ajoblanco porra, and antequerana. These soups are somewhat similar in preparation and are quite famous in Andalusia.
• A dish called by the name of gazpacho manchego is very famous in various regions of Spain. Though the name is similar to gazpacho, yet the preparation method and the ingredients that are used are entirely different. It is meat stew, instead of being a cold raw soup. The ingredients that are used for preparing manchego include flat bread, rabbit and mushrooms.
• Another variation of gazpacho comes from the city of Rota in Cadiz province. In this region, there was lack of water during drought. So, making gazpacho became difficult. Thus Arranque was invented. All the ingredients used in the preparation of Arranque are the same as in case of gazpacho. Only fewer amounts of bread and water are used for preparation of Arranque. A creamy texture of the soup is attained in case of Arranque.
• Oriental Gazpacho is another version which makes use of soy sauce to prepare the dish. Apart from normally used ingredients to prepare the dish, oriental gazpacho makes use of rice vinegar, lo mein noodles and soy sauce. This dish is a perfect example of how a chef can modify the dish to make it more delightful and delicious.