Living in Spain, I have learned a thing or two about gazpacho. One thing is that not everyone agrees upon what should be included in it. Some people shudder at the thought of adding cucumbe while others do likewise at the thought of adding red pepper. These seem to be the only two ingredients that not everyone agrees upon. I have lived here for nearly ten years now and gazpacho is, I think, one of the most unappreciated of the Spanish cuisine. I think it is because we translate it as ¨cold soup¨ and we get the idea of…¨Yuck! Why would I even bother with that?¨ You would bother with it because it is a surprisingly good remedy for the heat in the summer. Gazpacho is often served in shot glasses and serve as appetizers at weddings. You cannot underestimate just how filling a gazpacho can be. That is to say, don´t serve a huge bowl and expect to be able to eat a steak immediately afterwards. And it is delicious. I love it. It takes some time to make but it is worth it.
This being said, my recipe in my cooking group Cootkthebookfridays was for gazpacho. I was anticipating it but I had to make some small adaptaions based upon what I have learned during my time here! What were they?
- When in doubt, add more olive oil. The better the quality of olive oi, the better the result. I usually give a good generous dash or two.
- I added just a tiniest pinch of paprika.
- I also give another good generous dash or two of red wine vinegar.
- I soaked the bread in the liquid that was squeezed out of the tomatoes. I did not squeeze out any excess liquid from the bread afterwards. I just threw it into the mix.
- In all my years here, I have never seen a chunky gazpacho. It should be blended into a smooth consistency. Too thick for your taste? Add a bit of water.
- David recommends a bit of vodka but I would not do it. My mother in law is from Seville (That is in Andalucia and where gazpacho is immensely popular) and even she told me that alcohol is never added.
- A little dash of salt is not a bad idea.
- Pour a little dash of olive oil on the top for decoration. I have also seen some chopped cured ham, chopped boiled egg and chopped onion, pepper and cucumber as toppings.
- Prepare it in advance. Flavours improve. Always serve it very cold.
- I followed the instructions of serving the gazpacho with bread and an herbed goat cheese but I honestly thought it was a collision of flavours. They were both delicious, eaten separately, but their flavours were each so strong that one it was too much. This is because the cheese spread was made of goat´s cheese and herbs.
I cannot share the recipes with all of you because of copyright laws but what I can do is recommend that you TRY a gazpacho recipe, ADAPT it to your liking and have fun with it!
Have a good weekend everyone!