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Gazpacho Soup

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Soups bring to mind steaming bowls of hot nutritious broths - panacea for the body and soul. Gazpacho soup on the other hand is a cold Spanish soup that can be traced to the southern region of Andalusia. Gazpacho is extensively consumed by people living in Spain, Portugal and the Latin American countries.


Gazpacho originated from an ancient Andalusia blend based on a mixture of stale bread, olive oil, salt, garlic, and vinegar. Spaniards call it 'ajo blanco' and this soup is prepared using bread that is almost a week old. Traditionally this soup is made in a mortar; pounding bread and the vegetables into a paste. Then the tomatoes are added (to ensure no seeds from the tomato go into the soup, the mixture is sieved), later olive oil is added and finally a dash of vinegar.


Gazpacho soup

Gazpacho is actually a cold bread soup. As this soup became common in many parts of Europe, ingredients such as bell pepper and tomato were introduced into the soup. Today the most common ingredient in the common gazpacho is tomato, though tomato was not included in the original gazpacho recipe.

Restaurants in West part of Spain serve tomato gazpacho garnished with small pieces of ham. There are many varieties of gazpacho in Andalusia. The most popular among them is 'ajo blanco malagueno' or 'white gazpacho'. It is prepared using bread, almonds, garlic, vinegar and oil. Most of the gazpacho varieties in Andalusia do not include tomato as an ingredient.


A different type among the gazpacho is the gazpacho manchego originating from the La Mancha region of Spain. It is not the traditional cold soup but is a warm stew instead. It is made from meat (mostly rabbit), flat bread and mushrooms.

Hard boiled egg is served along with the soup and the garnish is served in separate bowls. Gazpacho recipes used in the United States include tomato, sweet bell pepper, onion, garlic, celery, and cucumber. Few recipes include olive oil, vinegar or lime juice, sugar, fresh herbs, bread, canned tomato juice or hot sauce. Gazpacho can be served after pureeing it till smooth or can be served with either small or large pieces of vegetables too.


Gazpacho soup recipe


Gazpacho is a soup packed with energy and is served cold. Consuming this cold soup allows the body to cool down and is ideal on a hot summer day. Gazpacho is usually served either along with the main course or after the meal. Spaniards commonly serve gazpacho in a glass as a beverage along with the meal. Typical and easy gazpacho recipes requiring minimal efforts are listed below

Tomatoes 450g
Peeled, deseeded and chopped cucumber
Green bell pepper (capsicum) 225g
Garlic
White bread (2-3 days old)
Cilantro leaves
Chopped onion
White or sherry vinegar 1 tbsp
Olive oil 2 tbsp
Sea salt to taste
Black pepper to taste
Chili pepper (optional) , deseeded
Ice cubes and cold water as per requirement

For garnishing

Tomato 1, skinned
Green pepper
Cucumber , peeled
Bread diced

Soak bread in water for 30 minutes, after tearing it into pieces and squeeze it dry. Skin the tomatoes and cut into quarter pieces. Blend all ingredients till they are not too smooth but with small chunks of vegetables in it. Pour in a large bowl and add little ice, salt and pepper to the mixture. For garnishes fry the diced bread until brown in olive oil, chop the other garnishing vegetables finely. Serve the garnish for the soup in a separate bowl.


Gazpacho soup tips

For people who love spicy soup, add a few drops of Tabasco sauce. Include green and red peppers for a variation on the simple gazpacho soup recipe. Try to use fresh and ripe tomatoes instead of tomato juice. Remember to skin and deseed the tomato before using. Ensure that this cold Gazpacho soup is served real chill. Chill the serving bowl or cups so that the soup stays cold for a longer time. A dash of sour cream while serving makes for a creamy consistency to the Gazpacho soup. Other garnish options are avocado chunks and tortilla chips. Serve chilled gazpacho soup for summer parties along with grilled chicken or fish.


Watermelon gazpacho

For watermelon gazpacho recipe, watermelon is used instead of tomato in the traditional gazpacho recipes. It serves as a great starter on a hot summer day - tangy salt and sweet.

Chopped watermelon
Diced bell pepper (red or yellow)
Diced cucumber
Chopped small onion
Jalapeno
Olive oil 1 tbsp
Lemon juice 2 tbsp
Fresh parsley
Salt and pepper to taste


Blend half the quantity of the watermelon, bell pepper, onion, cucumber and jalapeno till smooth. To the puree, add olive oil and lemon juice and stir well. Place the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl and pour this puree over it. Add salt and pepper to taste. Chill for an hour and allow the flavors to blend well. Serve chilled. While choosing a watermelon for the soup, ensure it is symmetrical and does not have flat sides. When you lift the watermelon, it should be heavy because of its 92% water content.


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