This Gazpacho or Traditional Spanish Cold Soup is filled with fresh and succulent veggies to cool you down on a hot summer day.
Gazpacho is a salad turned into a cold soup. This traditional Spanish dish is perfect to cool down on a hot summer day. The ingredients are ripe tomatoes, pepper, cucumber, little onion, extra-virgin olive oil and a touch of vinegar. As for the consistency it’s up to you, many use a bit of bread to thicken the soup, however if you prefect a gluten free version, simply skip the bread. So simple to do, all you’ll need is a good blender and a fridge to cool it.
Types of Gazpachos
The dish can be served as an appetizer or as a tapa. Without saying… it’s a perfect cooling snack for a hot summer day. This is a traditional Gazpacho, but there is quite a few different versions in Spain, for example; the “Salmorejo“, which contains eggs and cured ham or the Ajo blanco which is a white gazpacho, the oldest of cold soups from Spain dating from before they imported the tomatoes from the New World. It consist of almond milk, olive oil, vinegar and sometimes grapes… There is also the modern versions of Gazpacho; like cucumber-mint (check my recipe), watermelon, strawberry or even the seafood version.
This estival cold soup comes from the south of Spain, Andalusia. Today the soup is on every menus around Spain, although each regions have there own variation. Gazpacho was originally made in a mortar with a special technique that prevented the soup from making bubbles, or foam; like it does with the blender. But nowadays bubbles are no more the enemy of gazpacho so the blender makes it for us in no time!
For this recipe, you’ll need an old dry white bread, really hard and dry. This will prevent the soup from separating while resting, but many just don’t use any bread. Also you’ll need to find tasty, dark red, a bit too ripe tomatoes. This way you’ll get a red gazpacho, if your tomatoes aren’t soft and ripe enough your gazpacho will result into a light orange color which is no big deal but it will taste slightly less good also. Still tasty though… The type of tomato matters too, if you use acidic tomatoes, you’ll have to add a little sugar to the soup to balance the acidity. Last detail is, if your tomatoes are not containing much water, they will leave your soup too thick, so you can always skip the dry bread or add a little water to the soup. As for the general thickness it’s a preference thing, I prefer thicker for a appetizer soup and more liquid for Tapas in a glass. If you serve it as a soup, I suggest a few cubes of extra cucumber, pepper and croutons to add on the side for people to add a nice crunch to the soup.
A fun Tapa variation
For the tapas version of gazpacho, I did a cucumber mousse and a parsley olive oil to add to the gazpacho shooters. If you have a siphon at home, simply add cream and the filtered the juice of a full cucumber, plus some salt. Leave the siphon in the fridge a few hours, shake and voilà! You’ll have that great extra cucumber freshness to top the tapa. For the parley oil, simply blend flat leaf parsley into olive oil. This Tapa could be serve in any size of glass, a great way to refresh your guests on a dinner party this summer!
Let’s turn this salad into a soup!
Makes 3-4 appetizers / 8 tapas (shots)
- 65g (1 slice) of dry white bread (If not hard enough… lightly toast it)
- 1 kg of ripe tomatoes
- 1/2 a bell pepper
- 75g of cucumber (1/4 of an english cucumber)
- 1/4 of onion, soft white kind
- 1-2 garlic clove (depending how much you like garlic)
- 60 ml extra-virgin olive oil
- 30 ml of sherry vinegar or white wine vinegar
- salt, pepper
- Peel the cucumber
- Keep some cubes for garnishment (pepper, cucumber) for the final topping *optional
- Add all the ingredients to a blender and make a purée, add slowly the olive oil and vinegar, salt and pepper
- If too thick add a little extra water
- Pass the mix through a sieve, taste to check for acidity level (add 1 tsp of sugar if too acidic)
- Let cool in the fridge for a minimum of three hours
- Serve with the toppings from step 2 or the cucumber mousse explained above
For extra Spanish flair serve in a terracotta pitcher, it helps to keep it cool. Enjoy!