Gazpacho – Andalucia style

There are as many types of gazpacho as there are fish in the sea, grains of sand in the desert, large animals with teeth of which I am afraid, you pick your favorite metaphor. This cold vegetable soup is traditional in the Andalucia region of Southern Spain and all over Central and South America. I learned how to make this many years ago from my adorable host mother, Teresa when I studied in Granada, Spain. I have added a few touches over the years but essentially, this is her recipe.
Warning, making this can cause incidents of extreme summer-y deliciousness.
2 slices French bread—dissolved in 2 cups water
1/2 English cucumber
1 bell pepper quartered
2 cloves garlic
7 small tomatoes
2 Tbsp vinegar
2+ Tbsp olive oil
2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp cumin
A blender of some sort.
You don’t need a blender but it helps. Just like “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people but the gun helps.” I have a blending wand like I’m some sort of crazed kitchen fairy, willing to grant your taste buds three wishes. Something like that.
This is another one of those recipes that will really stretch the limits of your culinary skills. In a bowl large enough to encompass the mass of vegetables you’ve collected, pour two cups of water and toss in two large chunks of french bread. If you have a blender you can do the bread in a smaller bowl.
Leave this be for about 10 minutes so the bread can really soak up the water. 
Meanwhile (back at the ranch) skin half of the English cucumber and the garlic as well. Cut the tomatoes and bell pepper into large chunks. This is not necessary but it will make you feel like you are actually cooking. If you don’t need that kind of affirmation, simply toss all of the vegetables and the rest of the ingredients into a blender, blend, and you’re done.
The oil, vinegar and spices are all to taste. You will find that as you make this you will have to add a little more or less of things based on the juicyness of the veggies. I love the Moroccan flavor that the cumin gives this dish so I sometimes add a touch more. Garnish with a little pepper or cumin.
Enjoy this on the back porch, your terrace or really anywhere nice in the summer time. It can be eaten as a main dish or a starter soup. We ate it as a starter with Simone and Ines and then finished the left over parmigiana from last night.
Living and eating well! Until next time.
Labels: soup, Spanish, vegetarian, main, side

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