Gazpacho summer soup is a quintessential summertime dish in Spain due to its refreshing taste. Don’t be fooled by its soup like nature because it is served cold to help you survive the heat of summer. It is typically served as a starter before the main lunch meal or with other tapas. This makes it a very popular dish to enjoy, although it wasn’t always this way.
How did gazpacho become popular?
The history and evolution of gazpacho is very intriguing. It was first eaten by poor farmers. They used humble ingredients such as: pieces of bread soaked in water, extra virgin olive oil, vinegar, pepper, salt, garlic, and sometimes crushed almonds. These ingredients could be conserved for months without going stale, so it was a popular meal on Spanish exploration ships as well. Unfortunately, it is hard to know for sure if this was the exact recipe. The elite refused to incorporate this dish into their recipe books since it was considered a lower-class meal. Therefore, it was regarded as unworthy to be prepared for dinner parties and social gatherings.
If you noticed, the ingredients mentioned above don’t include tomato. It is unclear which Spanish autonomous region was the first to incorporate tomatoes. But it is clear that tomatoes became popular after the discovery of America in the 17th century. From then on tomatoes were incorporated. After a couple years, gazpacho emerged as a popular course in society thanks to an American cookbook made for the upper class. As a result, nobles in Madrid became obsessed with gazpacho and it made its way into recipe books and dinner tables. From here on it became an essential meal for many families, especially in Andalucía where it is a sign of identity.
Where is gazpacho summer soup from?
Gazpacho is most commonly popular in the southern region of Spain, Andalucía. This is due partly to the historical connections between the Americas and this region where ships arrived with the new treasures. But also because of the weather. This region is known for scorching summer heat making it hard to eat meals that are hot or even slightly warm. Therefore, people opted to drink cold gazpacho soup with its characteristically fresh nature and hydrating qualities. Now this delicious dish is associated with summer in Andalucía. But it is also popular all throughout Spain.
How to make gazpacho summer soup
Traditional Andalusian gazpacho recipe for 4 people:
- 2 garlic cloves (you can add more if you desire a stronger taste)
- 2.2 lbs. of ripe pear tomatoes
- 1 Italian green pepper
- 1 cucumber
- 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons of white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon of salt
The most important flavor in the gazpacho recipe is the tomato and the cucumber. The tomato also contributes to the iconic red color of the soup. This is a drastic change from the early stages of gazpacho. Thanks to the bourgeois class in Andalucía who incorporated pieces of vegetables to make the cold soup have more taste and nutrition. It now encompasses all the necessities for the Mediterranean diet plus it’s super easy to make. Once you have all the vegetables washed, cut them into small pieces so they are easier to blend. Place the chopped food in a mixer until everything is smooth and there are no chunks. Then add the salt, oil, and vinegar. After blending everything, place the mixture in the fridge to cool. It’s important to remember that this soup should not be served hot!
Gazpacho with Watermelon
Like many tried and true recipes, people find ways to change up or add a twist to a popular dish. If you want to shake up your gazpacho recipe you can try it with some watermelon! Feel free to experiment a little and add this summery fruit to the traditional Andalusian recipe found above. This way it will have a refreshing taste.
We hope you enjoy!