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A simple and tasty mix of cucumber, green pepper, garlic, onion and mint to cool you down on a hot summer day.

Cucumber-mint Gazpacho

Cucumber-Mint Gazpacho is the perfect refreshing soup on a sunny day! A great appetizer to any summer meal, you can serve it as a simple soup or in a pitcher with glasses as tapas, with some extra ice cubes if it’s on a sunny day. This cold soup, is a modern variation of the famous Spanish tomato Cucumber-mint Gazpachocold soup called gazpacho (gazpacho recipe here). It contains all the same secondary ingredients, the only missing one here is the tomato, which is replaced by lots of cucumber and also a touch of mint, to make it extra fresh. Actually the original gazpacho dates back from the Roman times and wasn’t made with tomatoes since those got imported afterwards from the New world. The original gazpacho, called ajo blanco, was made out of almond, garlic, water and olive oil and a touch of vinegar and sometimes, if lucky, some extra grapes.

Of course, like with any cold soup, the temperature needs to be spot on, so I highly suggest a 3 hours of cooling before serving. If you intend to serve it outside, in the sun, make sure it lays on ice or give it right away to your guests. Because there is no bigger disappointment than a lukewarm “cold soup”. The few leaves of mint gives this soup this extra freshness without taking over the cucumber flavor. A perfect summer soup!

So let’s make this fresh cucumber gazpacho!cucumbergazpachopin


Cucumber-mint Gazpacho

Makes 2 full soup portions, about 6 tapas glass portions

Ingredients
  • Cucumber-mint Gazpacho1 1/2 english cucumber peeled
  • 1 small Cubanelle Peppers or 1/2 a green bell pepper (*sweet pepper)
  • 1/2 spring or white onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 hand of fresh mint
  • 1 small cup of plain yogurt
  • 2 tbsp of cider vinegar
  • 4 tbsp of olive oil
  • 150ml of water (to taste)
  • salt and pepper
Directions
  1. In a blender add all the ingredients
  2. Blend until extra smooth
  3. If you find the soup too thick, pass it through a sieve (then add 1 tbsp or 2 of pulp to the soup) and mix
  4. Check the seasoning (salt, pepper, vinegar) and water, adjust to your taste
  5. Let cool in the refrigerator for a minimum of 3 hours of cooling before serving

 

Serve with a few dices of cucumber and pepper, a mint leaf, lime wedge and a touch of extra-virgin olive oil. Enjoy!

Cucumber-mint Gazpacho

This Gazpacho or Traditional Spanish Cold Soup is filled with fresh and succulent veggies to cool you down on a hot summer day.Spanish cold soup gazpacho tapas

Gazpacho

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.

Gazpacho cold tomato soup spanish

Origins

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!

Traditional Gazpacho

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.

Gazpacho shots with cucumber mousse
Gazpacho shots with cucumber mousse

 

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!

 


Gazpacho

Makes 3-4 appetizers / 8 tapas (shots)

GazpachoIngredients
  • 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
Directions
  1. Peel the cucumber
  2. Keep some cubes for garnishment (pepper, cucumber) for the final topping *optional
  3. Add all the ingredients to a blender and make a purée, add slowly the olive oil and vinegar, salt and pepper
  4. If too thick add a little extra water
  5. Pass the mix through a sieve, taste to check for acidity level (add 1 tsp of sugar if too acidic)
  6. Let cool in the fridge for a minimum of three hours
  7. 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!

Gazpacho

 

ajo blanco pina
ajo blanco pina

This is a summer recipe. It is actually based on the original gazpacho recipe, the “ajo blanco” which is an almond, garlic, bread and vinegar cold soup. The tradition one doesn’t contain pineapple but sometimes grapes are used.

ajo blanco pina

Gazpacho existed way before tomatoes were imported in Europe from the New World. Spaniards used to do “cold soup” gazpacho with simply almond and vinegar. Since the south of Spain is an almond paradise, when those trees bloom, it’s absolutely beautiful. The Arabs imported them and later cultivated them in Spain. They are obviously quite a few nice recipes with them in Spain. Often they use almond to make a “picada” at the end of cooking, it thickens the sauce and gives it an extra nutty flavour. For example, the “Rabbit with wine & chocolate sauce” contains some in the last stage of the recipe.

This soup is great because you make it in advance, obviously… since it needs to be cold… and when I say cold you can even put it in the freezer or ice 20 minutes before serving to make it extra cold.


Almond & pineapple gazpacho

Ingredients

4 portions

  • 200g pineapple
  • 100g of bread without the crust, soak it in water
  • 300g almond uncooked and without skin
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 100ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 30ml apple or white balsamic vinegar
  • 800 ml of water
  • salt and white pepper
Directions
  1. Soak the almonds in water overnight
  2. Soak the bread a few minutes
  3. Add everything in a mixer and blend really well
  4. In a sieve, push out all the water from the mix, squeeze with hand to get all that juice out.
  5. Set in the fridge a few hours (needs to be really cold)
  6. Shake before serving
  7. Serve with a little extra-virgin olive oil on top.

 

Enjoy!