Gazpacho with toasted bread. (Photo Credit: Gazpacho med bruschetta by Flickr User Cyclonebill)
Gazpacho with toasted bread. (Photo Credit: Gazpacho med bruschetta by Flickr User Cyclonebill)

Gazpacho or Gazpacho andaluz is cold soup from Spain made with tomatoes, cucumber, pepper, garlic, onion, bread, Xérès vinegar and olive oil. It is served as a starter and is most eaten at just the right moment during hot summer days.

Tips for Eating Gazpacho:

  • We call it a soup but as it is raw, it’s more of a dense smoothie. Maybe the first one?
  • however, as it is more or less dense depending of the proportion of bread and water, you have  the impression of eating the gazpacho rather than drinking it.
  • The seasonings are already included in its preparation: salt, garlic, vinegar and olive oil. But you can add some salt or pepper and even tabasco according to your own taste.
  • For an aperitif, the gazpacho can be presented in verrines, but the most common is to keep it in a large terracotta bowl, and serve it in smaller bowls or deep plates. Peeled and diced tomatoes, cucumber and peppers will also be offered to guests, who may garnish their gazpacho just before eating it. You can also add toasted sliced bread or a few shreds of Spanish ham.
  • Gazpacho is pronounced  as ”gas”+”pa”+”tcho”.
  • As it contains garlic and vinegar, water is the recommended accompanying drink, rather than wine. But if you would really like some wine,  rosé is the choice of the season, but some white wine or red wine can also go well.
  • Gazpacho is originally from Andalucia. This region produces wonderful vegetables and you will find all the ingredients needed for the preparation of gazpacho.
  • The first gazpacho was a mix of bread, olive oil and vinegar in the 8th century. Depending of the region where it was prepared, other ingredients were added. This meal was eaten by workers in the fields. For us red is its obvious colour, but tomatoes were part of the recipe only from the 16th century, or even later.
  • Every gazpacho is different: the taste will depend on the quantity of each ingredient. Even the the degree of ripeness of the tomatoes will have an influence.

    Ingredients to cook a gazpacho, maceration 12 hours, blender and ready! (Photo Credit: Françoise Catherin)
    Ingredients to cook a gazpacho, macerate 12 hours, blend and ready! (Photo Credit: Françoise Catherin)
  • The inside part of the bread is used to make the gazpacho thick and substantial. It is also a way to use leftover bread. In some current recipes it is no longer used and that makes this starter lighter.
  • The name gazapcho is also used for very different types of meals, such as gazpacho manchego made from meat (rabbit, hare, partridge).
  • Salmonejo from Cordoba is similar to gazpacho but thicker and contains only tomatoes as vegetables. Ajoblanco is also a cold soup but it is made from garlic (ajo) and almonds.
  • Made from raw ingredients, the gazpacho is a healthy meal. It contains vitamins A, E and C and minerals, as well as fibre. Water from the vegetables will contribute to hydrating you and the lycopene of the tomatoes has an antioxidant effect.
  • It is not complicated to make your own gazpacho – just time and good ingredients are needed. You can also buy prepared versions in some supermarkets. The most popular brands are: Alvalle, Don Simón, Santa Teresa, Solfrio (some are organic), gazpacho de La Huerta de Bertín (organic), and supermarkets brands.

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