Gazpacho Andaluz is a cold soup that originates from the Andalusia region of southern Spain. It is typically made with a blend of ripe tomatoes, cucumber, green peppers, onion, garlic, and stale bread that is soaked in water. The soup is then seasoned with olive oil, vinegar, and salt, and can be garnished with chopped vegetables or croutons.
Gazpacho Andaluz is a refreshing dish that is perfect for hot summer days and is often served as a starter or appetizer. It is also a popular dish outside of Spain, and variations of the recipe can be found in many different countries.
One theme which will emerge repeatedly in Andalusian recipes, and for which I make no apology, is the importance of improvisation. To use a musical analogy, Northern Europeans love to reproduce prized tunes exactly: a quartet trains hard to re-create a piece by Bach or Mozart, precisely as the master composed it. Here in Andalucia, the essence of flamenco is individual flair.
We want to hear the singer “customise” the tune. It’s exactly the same with food. If you enter twenty Andalucian homes, you’ll taste twenty variants of gazpacho. So feel utterly free to make your gazpacho your own. Then you’ll know that you’re doing it properly!
By the way, be sure to try Porra as well, which is a slightly more solid version of gazpacho. If you are a fan, don’t forget to try Jamie Oliver’s gazpacho. A recipe he worked on when he visited Ronda a few years ago.
Ingredients (serves six)
- 75 grams or 2 slices of bread (stale, if possible!)
- 4 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1kg of ripe tomatoes, peeled (roughly 4 tomatoes)
- salt, to taste
- 2 green peppers
- a pinch of cumin
- half a cucumber
- half an onion
- a pint of water
- 2 cloves of garlic
- Soak the bread in water.
- Cut the tomatoes, peppers, cucumber and onion roughly, and toss them all in the blender.
- Add the garlic, and let the mixture continue like this until it is a smooth liquid. Remove it and place it in a large bowl.
- Now take the bread, strain off the excess water, and put it in the blender. As it is blending, slowly trickle in the olive oil.
- Once it has mixed nicely, keep it spinning, and add the vinegar, cumin and salt.
- I usually pour a little of the tomato liquid back in, to help it blend smoothly.
- Now mix this paste with the main body of tomato liquid. Remember that you can adjust the balance of seasoning at any time.
- Don’t be afraid to add water to get the consistency that you prefer.
- Chill well before serving.
It is customary to scatter adornos on the surface of the gazpacho. These are usually “crudités”, or raw, chopped vegetables such as onion, peppers and hard-boiled eggs. Croutons, diced olives and even chopped cubes of melon may also be added.
A few tips and tricks for the perfect gazpacho Andaluz
- Use high-quality, ripe tomatoes for the best flavor. This is the main ingredient of the soup, so it’s important to choose tomatoes that are juicy and flavorful.
- Soak the stale bread in water before adding it to the soup. This will help the bread to blend smoothly and create a creamy texture.
- Chill all the ingredients before blending. This will help to keep the soup cold and refreshing.
- Don’t over-blend the soup. Gazpacho Andaluz should have a slightly chunky texture, so be sure to pulse the blender or food processor rather than blending it into a smooth puree.
- Adjust the seasoning to taste. The amount of vinegar and salt needed can vary depending on the ripeness and sweetness of the tomatoes.
- Let the soup sit in the fridge for at least an hour before serving. This will give the flavors time to meld together and make the soup even more delicious.
- Garnish with fresh vegetables or croutons for extra texture and flavor. Chopped cucumbers, peppers, and onions are a traditional garnish, but you can get creative and use whatever you like.
Remember, Gazpacho Andaluz is a versatile recipe that can be customized to your taste preferences. Don’t be afraid to experiment and make it your own!
The Caminito del Rey
Find tickets for the Caminito del Rey: https://www.caminodelrey.es/
Wildside Holidays – Spain
Take a trip on the Wildside! Discover the wildlife and nature of Spain, its Natural and National Parks and find the top wildlife, activity and walking holiday companies.
Iberia Nature Forum
Struggling with identifying those bugs and beasties? Why not check out the Iberia nature Forum!
Discover the Iberia Nature Forum – Environment, geography, nature, landscape, climate, culture, history, rural tourism and travel.