For those of us lamenting the lack of savory flavors in cool summer beverages, fear not, because gazpacho is here! Open yourself up to the idea that soup does not have to be hot, or that smoothies do not have to be sweet for you to have a delicious snack or meal that satisfies the best of your appetite and the worst of the summer heat.
Gazpacho is defined as a simple chilled soup, but really, it’s a game changer. It originates from Andalusia, the southern region of Spain, and is popular in both Spain and Portugal. The basic ingredients are tomato, cucumber and garlic, and typically also include olive oil and vinegar. You’ll find that the best gazpacho recipes follow this formula of simple and natural ingredients, like the Andalusian Gazpacho by Hida, which captures the traditional Andalusian recipe. In Andalusia, the combination of ripe red tomatoes, pepper, cucumbers, garlic, bread, olive oil, vinegar, and ice cold water has been around since the Middle Ages. It is made traditionally with a mortar and week-old bread, suggesting that gazpacho is rooted in practicality. Not only did gazpacho make use of old food, it provided respite from the heat of Andalusian cities like Cordoba and Seville. And like the spread of most European things, the popularity of gazpacho has been credited to royalty, queen Eugenia de Montijo. The rest is history, and now gazpacho is available all over the world.
Gazpacho is also the ideal food for variation. Its recipes can vary from region to country, and with the imaginations of chefs from all over the world. One Portuguese recipe adds chilli flakes, parsley, sugar, celery and white wine to the original recipe, and specifies that the tomatoes must be boiled and diced before being added to the mix.
Whether you’re sweltering in New York or dying in Arizona, I see your melting stop signs and I raise you a bowl (or bottle) of gazpacho. It’s perfect if you’ve got somewhere to be, and if going there requires you to pass several lemonade stands and flaming sidewalks. Gazpacho has got you and your appetite covered.