Traditional Spanish Gazpacho Andaluz Recipe

Traditional Spanish Gazpacho Andaluz Recipe

The origins of gazpacho andaluz are mysterious, and like most things from our past have never been truly documented. What writing does exist is filled with inaccuracies, but the  general consensus is that the pre-Roman Andalucians (Ibericelts) were making something akin to Gazpacho in Phoenician (and Carthiginian) times. Although, to really confuse matters so were pre-Roman Italian peninsula peoples. So what is the traditional Spanish gazpacho andaluz recipe?

The traditional Spanish Gazpacho Andaluz recipe is a simple and refreshing soup made with ripe tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, bread, garlic, olive oil, and vinegar. The ingredients are blended together into a smooth puree and then chilled, making it a perfect summer dish.

There are several variations of the recipe, with some adding ingredients such as onions, celery, or watermelon, but the basic concept remains the same. Gazpacho Andaluz is typically served cold, garnished with diced vegetables such as cucumber, tomato, and peppers, and drizzled with a bit of extra virgin olive oil. The soup is known for its light, bright flavors and its ability to cool and refresh on a hot summer day.

In fact, a cold meal of stale bread, vinegar, olive oil, garlic, and water is common in the bread eating cultures surrounding the Mediterranean, the concept is even alluded to in the Old Testament book of Ruth (2.14) “’Come thou hither, and eat of the bread, and dip thy morsel in the vinegar.”

To confuse matters even more, the tomato plant is from South America and didn’t get to Europe until after the Spanish Conquest of the Americas from 1492 onwards… Ummm… anyway, less about that and more about the recipe :)

Jamie Oliver Gazpacho

If you would like to practice your Spanish reading skills then you can see this article translated here…

Renowned British chef Jamie Oliver was in Ronda in 2009 filming his TV show ‘Jamie Does… Andalucía’. He loved the traditional Ronda recipe, though in Spain gazpacho andaluz is a summer dish eaten cold, and most Rondeños would never eat gazpacho in the cooler months or in winter.

Typically, a gazpacho andaluz is treated like a drink, rather than a soup needing spoons. Jamie’s recipes can be a drink or a soup depending on the consistency. (It is possible that the Jamie recipe owes some allegiance to an ancient recipe developed in pre-Roman times.)

Jamie Oliver’s modern take on Gazpacho includes the addition of caramelized garlic and onions for added flavor, as well as almonds and oranges for extra texture and a touch of sweetness. This twist on the classic Spanish dish highlights Jamie’s innovative and playful approach to cooking, and has been well received by many. (But its not gazpacho!)

Rondeños like to argue about food, and we doubt Jamie will ever convince them to call his modern recipe an authentic gazpacho, certainly while Jamie was in Ronda he delighted in trying the traditional gazpacho recipe, but this recipe is always better when it’s made at home with your own special touches to add a unique flavour. The base recipe for gazpacho is always the same, but no two chefs will ever create the same soup.

Here is Jamie Oliver’s recipe for Gazpacho:

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 red pepper, deseeded and roughly chopped
  • 1 yellow pepper, deseeded and roughly chopped
  • 1 loaf of crusty bread, roughly torn
  • 1 small red onion, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1/2 cup blanched almonds
  • 2 oranges, peeled and segmented
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Ice cold water

Instructions:

  1. In a large bowl, combine the chopped tomatoes, cucumber, red and yellow peppers, bread, red onion, garlic, almonds, and orange segments.
  2. In a blender or food processor, puree the vegetable mixture until smooth.
  3. With the blender running, gradually add the olive oil and vinegar, and blend until well combined.
  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Add ice cold water as needed to reach the desired consistency. The soup should be chilled and not too thick.
  6. Chill the Gazpacho in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
  7. Serve the Gazpacho in bowls, garnished with diced vegetables and drizzled with extra virgin olive oil.

Enjoy your Jamie Oliver Gazpacho!

While he was in Ronda, Jamie Oliver stayed at the Hotel La Fuente de la Higuera near Ronda, in the exclusive private villa reserved for celebrities.


Traditional Andalucian Gazpacho (The real recipe :)

Gazpacho is a traditional cold tomato soup eaten in the summer months in Andalucia, and has a long history of providing sustenance to workers during the long hot summer days. During the winter months a warm version of Gazpacho is also made. There is also a thicker soup similar to Gazpacho, known as Porra.

The Moorish invaders of Spain quickly adopted the idea of a cold soup during the hot summer days for themselves, and then refined and perfected the recipe to suit their palate better, an example being the white Gazpacho made with garlic and either cucumber or asparagus.

We shouldn’t be surprised then if the history of Gazpacho is filled with wonderful stories, but traditional Andalucian Gazpacho as served in Ronda is a comparatively new recipe created after the first tomatoes and peppers were introduced to Spain by traders from the Americas.

Here is a traditional Gazpacho Andaluz recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 6 ripe medium-sized tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 bread roll, cut into cubes
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Ice cold water

Instructions:

  1. In a large bowl, combine the chopped tomatoes, cucumber, bell peppers, bread cubes, and garlic.
  2. In a blender or food processor, puree the vegetable mixture until smooth.
  3. With the blender running, gradually add the olive oil and vinegar, and blend until well combined.
  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Add ice cold water as needed to reach the desired consistency. The soup should be chilled and not too thick.
  6. Chill the Gazpacho in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
  7. Serve the Gazpacho in bowls, garnished with diced vegetables and drizzled with extra virgin olive oil.

Enjoy your Gazpacho Andaluz!

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