11.6.07

Gazpacho 101


I made my first batch of gazpacho yesterday. That, and putting away my duvet, signals the arrival of summer. The Spanish summer is blastingly hot, calculated to drive the air from your lungs and the hope from your soul. But to make up for it we have tomatoes.

I started to write a gazpacho post, and was typing " I won´t give a recipe because there are so many". And I googled, to link to the first one I found. And what I found shocked me. It seems to me that the world is in a dazed and confused state where it comes to our national soup.
So I´m rolling up my sleeves and going to begin a series of gazpacho posts. It´s clear the me that I´m now on a mission. Over the course of the next week, you will receive:

the fabled gazpacho recipe served chez maman

my unfabled but lighter and fresher gazpacho recipe

serving suggestions

alternative versions

tips

For today, we will begin with a little text on the basics. First of all, what gazpacho is, and what it´s not.
Assuming that all the time we are talking about gazpacho andaluz, and not white gazpacho as made in La Mancha, and certainly not gazpachuelo as served in Cuenca, what we are talking about is a chilled soup made primarily out of tomatoes.
On that, every recipe I´ve seen agrees.
This soup can vary in colour from the salmon pink to the crushed strawberry, but it must have one colour only. This is because, contrary to what you may read elswhere, gazpacho is blended to within an inch of its life. It is smooth. Not chunky. Smoooooth. This is exactly the kind of recipe I mean when I say that I am appalled at the state of gazpacho knowledge. The Barefoot Contessa will have you float a mush of fresh veg in tomato juice from a bottle. Yikes. Ina,I daresay that concoction is delicious, but it is as authentic as Cordobés Corn Chowder. Gazpacho is not chopped, it is blitzed, and then it is strained, to produce a soup of a consistency that allows it to be drunk, if so wished. Bear this in mind. Also, whatever wacky versions there may be, real gazpacho is made from fresh ingredients. No roasted tomatoes or peppers, please. The platonic gazpacho is made by walking out to the kitchen garden on a summer morning, picking the tomatoes, cucumber and pepper, making it and then leaving it to chill until lunchtime.
With that fresh and green, certified 100% organic image, I will leave you to locate your blender and your chinoise, and get ready for the next instalment.

14 comentarios:

Lydia dijo...

Oh, I'm looking forward to these gazpacho posts! I'm sure the version I make is not even remotely authentic, so I'm eager to learn the proper way to make this wonderful soup.

SteamyKitchen dijo...

Oh wow. No wonder why I've never liked Gazpacho. Everyone I've known has totally butchered the dish and beaten it to a red pulp. Now you've got me curious....

Chef JP dijo...

As a working chef over the years, I've tried to serve a good gazpacho but sadly Americans do not grasp the concept of cold soups. "Can you heat this up, please? It's cold!" I look forward to your recipe. chefjp

Ed dijo...

And I think a lot of people make the mistake of thinking that it is only about tomatoes and that it is like a traditional soup when in reality it is also about creating an emulsion between the olive oil and vinegar flavoured with the tomatoes and other ingredients. Glad you are a purist and looking forward to reading more about it.

xps dijo...

Que expectación!!

nopisto dijo...

well pointed out Ximena :-))))

neil dijo...

Pity the hot summer days before the blender...

Pille dijo...

Looking keenly forward to all the gazpacho posts - believe me, I've seen 'interesting' versions in the Estonian and British media..

Lisa dijo...

I'm so very excited to read your next few posts on gazpacho. Growing up in the states, my mom served us gazpacho out of a Campbell's can (I don't think they make it anymore) at least once a week in the summer. It wasn't until I lived in Spain for a summer that I realized how much better it could be, although I do still have fond memories of the canned, cold lunch of my childhood. I can't wait to get your recipe so I can make it at home all summer!

Marona dijo...

Ei! Al fin alguien va a poner los puntos sobre las íes. Una vez vi hacer un gazpacho a un chef alemán y le quedaba verde, era todo pimiento y pepino... en fin, que para los gustos están los colores, pero se le puede llamar "sopa fría de pepino y pimiento" en vez de gazpacho, ¿no?
saludos!

thepassionatecook dijo...

oh, i'm loving it! gazpacho is such a summery treat and one of my favourite summer recipes! if i can find great tomatoes, that is, as the gazpacho stands and falls with the tomatoes you use! i like to serve it in shot glasses at cocktail parties in the summer - this may not be authentic, but it has a great wow!factor...

Anónimo dijo...

Oh, the shame of it all. I've been cooking and eating faux-gazpacho for years, evidently. Thank you for sending me down the correct path.

p.s. If this works out well, my boyfriend (who does not like raw tomato pieces) may actually learn to like a new soup. A bonus!

iamchanelle dijo...

hmmm - i wonder what you would think of this one?
i did leave a few chunks in it, but overall it was so tasty! cannot wait to see all your posts on this matter. :)

lobstersquad dijo...

Ok, everybody, I´m a little nervous now, and think maybe I´ve overstepped the line of gazpacho expertise a little. But I´m sure I´ll write something that will be of use to someone. I hope so. Stay tuned.

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