Some things are so simple that they fall off the radar. I have wanted to blog about this cold Spanish soup for years. But it always gets swept under the rug because ‘ Oh gazpacho! I can do that any time’. The scorching sun is really making me miserable this year. Actually, it does that all the time – I am more of a cold weather person!
Pune has firmly joined hands with other hot places in Central India or Maharashtra. The mercury is consistently at 40C or higher. There is no way anyone can mistake this place for a mild weather destination any more.
I saw a version of gazpcho on Food Safari that I really liked. As with any recipe, what is ultimately placed on the table largely depends on the availability of ingredients. So if I had the veggies, I was out of bread, or garlic. It just went on and on. Until one fine day, the lucky day dawned and as we say in Marathi, the ‘muhurta’ was right.
Gazpacho originates in the Andalusian region of Spain and is popular in both Spain and Portugal. Some say the Arabs or the Moors brought it to Spain in a basic form. Best of all, this recipe is vegan and vegetarian, so made to be enjoyed by all.
Gazpacho is mostly made with tomatoes and cucumbers. Onions, pepper and garlic add flavor. Stale bread adds thickness and volume. I am fascinated by some of these soups like the gazpacho and ribbolita that use stale bread. It is nice to know that there are other regions in the world that make use of stale food, or believe in using up leftovers.
I think you can vary the proportion of the tomatoes and cucumbers based on your taste or what you have on hand. But I would keep the onion and pepper to a minimum. Some recipes ask for red bell pepper and I would really have preferred to add it because I love its sweet flavor. Even a yellow or orange pepper will do.
Use good olive oil, always! This cold soup just asks for extra virgin olive oil – the more flavorful the better. I used simple vinegar but I think champagne vinegar or apple cider vinegar will really taste better here.
Some people prefer to keep this rustic or chunky. And some blend and strain it. I went for a blended version but did not strain it. the color of the soup will depend on how red your tomatoes are, what other veggies you add and the kind of bread you use.
This gazpacho is almost raw and is actually sippable too. It is ready in minutes with a good blender, and will stay in the fridge for a day or two easily.
Try it out and enjoy as a snack or side dish.
Gazpacho is a cold Spanish soup made with cucumbers and tomatoes.
- 6 plum tomatoes
- 2 English cucumbers
- 1 small red onion
- ½ green bell pepper
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2-3 slices whole grain bread
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tsp sugar
- Salt to taste
- 2-3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Peel tomatoes and chop roughly.
- Peel one cucumber and leave the skin on the other. Chop these.
- Finely chop quarter cucumber and set aside for garnish.
- Chop the green pepper reserving some to finely chop for garnish.
- Chop the red onion reserving some to finely chop for garnish.
- Add all ingredients to food processor or blender.
- Add a little water and blend until smooth. Add more water based on how thin you want the soup to be.
- Refrigerate and serve garnished with the minced veggies and a squirt of more olive oil.
- Optional – you can strain the soup through a colander if you want it super smooth.
In case you are wondering, there is no black pepper or chili pepper in this soup. The raw garlic adds some roughness and zing and that was enough for me. You can add a dash of hot sauce if you wish to.
Cold and delicious gazpacho is just made for summer. Try this simple recipe and tell me how it turned out. Remember, this recipe is vegan and low fat so you can indulge to your heart’s content.