With its origins in the southern region of Andalucia, the popularity of gazpacho has spread to almost every part of the peninsula. The recipe is centuries old and has evolved from three original ingredients of bread, olive oil and water to how we know it these days, a refreshing mixture of delicious raw vegetables based mainly on tomatoes. Today, there are numerous variations of gazpacho, including one made with avocados.
Gazpacho is served chilled, making it particularly popular during the hot summer months due to its refreshing qualities. Years ago, gazpacho was known as the ‘poor man’s soup’, as it was mainly consumed by the Andalucian peasants who worked in the fields. When it became known that the soup was highly nutritious and contained plenty of vitamins, the upper classes then allowed it on to their tables, from where it spread to nearby restaurants.
The staple ingredients of gazpacho are tomatoes, green and red peppers, cucumber, bread, garlic, olive oil and wine vinegar and it is often served with a garnish of chopped hard-boiled egg, croutons, chopped cucumber, chopped peppers and chopped onion, which are all served separately in a bowl, so the consumer can add as little or as much as he wants.
Gazpacho is very simple to prepare, so long as you have an electric blender in your kitchen. It can be kept for several days in the refrigerator yet is best consumed as quickly as possible. Why not try our delicious recipe and let us know how it turned out?
Ingredients (serves 8 people)
1½ lb (700g) ripe tomatoes
1 red pepper
1 green pepper
2 garlic cloves
2 slices of bread with crusts removed
1 tbsp tomato purée
6 tbsp olive oil
4 tbsp wine vinegar
½ litre water
chopped hard-boiled egg
chopped red and green pepper
- Cover the bread in water and leave to soak.
- Immerse the tomatoes in a bowl of boiling water, leave for 10 minutes, drain and peel off the skin.
- Chop the tomatoes and place in a blender.
- Peel the cucumber, chop and add to the tomatoes.
- Halve the peppers, remove the seeds, roughly chop and add to the blender.
- Peel and chop the garlic. Add to the blender.
- Process for a minute until the mixture is fairly smooth. Remove and place the puréed vegetables into a bowl.
- Squeeze the water from the bread and place the bread in the blender.
- With the motor running, slowly add the olive oil and then the salt and wine vinegar.
- Spoon some of the vegetable mixture back into the blender, add the tomato purée, and process for a few seconds.
- Add more of the mixture together with as much water as you need for your preferred consistency.
- Check the seasoning and add more salt or vinegar.
- Transfer back to the bowl, cover with cling film, and place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, longer if possible.
- Serve the chilled gazpacho in soup bowls with the garnishes to accompany.