Summer is here in Spain. And with summer, come two things. One, the women bring out their abanicos (hand-fans). Two, every restaurant, bar,and cafe includes Gazpacho on their menu. The quintessential Spanish summer soup.
It’s a simple, no-cook, cold soup. When you order it in restaurants, they bring out a bowl of soup and a tray of toppings. Jamon, hard-boiled eggs, onions, tomatoes, cucumber, croutons, parsley.. It reminds me of the lunch at Annalakshmi, in my home-town, Chennai. They serve plain rice, and bring out a tray of spice powders and fried turkey berries to mix in the rice, and you can choose what you want.
Every restaurant, every abuela (grand-mother) in Spain has their own, very specific recipe for Gazpacho. You add bread, no you add almonds, you add green peppers, no you add onions… everyone has an opinion. From what I have tasted, I know it normally has tomatoes, cucumbers, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, bread, salt and pepper. But the key is to choose the most fresh, ripe tomatoes you can get your hands on. That’s what gives the soup it’s signature taste.
Tomatoes – 4
Cucumber – 1
Garlic – 1-2 cloves
Bread – half a baguette
Olive oil – 4 tbs
Lemon juice – 1/2 tsp
Salt and pepper to taste
Toppings – finely diced onions, tomatoes, and cucumber, croutons, chopped coriander. (feel free to use anything you like)
1. Roughly chop the tomatoes. Peel and seed the cucumbers. If your bread is too stale, (mine was) soak it in some water and wring the water out.
2. Place the tomatoes, cucumber, garlic, and bread in the blender and blend into a smooth paste. Add a few tablespoons of water if it’s too thick.
3. Drizzle the olive oil with the blender running and blend till the soup is shimmering.
4. Season with salt and pepper, lemon juice , give it one final blend and refrigerate for 3-4 hours.
5. Serve cold with the toppings on the side.
Now I have given you the basic recipe that I have come up with to suit our taste. If you like onions, or green peppers or almonds.. Feel free to add them. But the key, fresh tomatoes.
Espero que tengas un buen verano!