The origins of gazpacho date back to the Middle Ages, when the south of Spain was part of the Islamic world. Served very cold and traditionally prepared in a mortar, it contains tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers, garlic and stale bread, mixed with oil, sherry vinegar and ice water. But the different ways to prepare gazpacho vary by region and some versions contain almonds but no tomato or pepper.
Gazpacho was a recipe originally prepared by poor Andalusian farmers. They would save leftover bread from the day prior to prepare a hearty soup. The bread was mixed with vinegar, dried fruit and garlic. Gazpacho at the time did not include tomato as the fruit did not arrive from the New World to Seville until the sixteenth century. This soup was therefore white. Only after the arrival of tomato did it become the cold red soup that we know today.
Recipe of Gazpacho
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Ingredients (serves 6)
- 6 large tomatoes, peeled and seeded
- 2 red bell peppers, unseeded
- 1 yellow pepper, unseeded
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 red onion
- 1 scallion
- 1 cucumber
- 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- A few drops of Tabasco
- 2 slices of bread
- 1 cup water
- A few cilantro leaves
- A few basil leaves
- Fleur de sel
- Black Pepper
- Ice cubes
Coarsely chop tomatoes and cucumbers.
Peel the garlic and onion and coarsely chop.
Remove the crusts from the sandwich bread.
Finely dice a fourth of the vegetables and refrigerate.
In a blender, mix the remaining vegetables (tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers, garlic, red onion and scallion) and cilantro.
Stir in olive oil, water, bread, sherry vinegar, sugar, fleur de sel, and Tabasco and blend until reaching a smooth consistency.
Chill for about 2 hours.
At time of serving, add ice cubes, salt, black pepper and basil.
Place the reserved diced vegetables on top of the gazpacho.