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
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.