Gazpacho has ancient roots. There are a number of theories of its origin, including as an Arab soup of bread, olive oil, water and garlic that arrived in Spain and Portugal with the Moors, or via the Romans with the addition of vinegar. Once in Spain, it became a part of Andalusian cuisine, particularly Córdoba and Seville, using stale bread, garlic, olive oil, salt, and vinegar, similar to ajoblanco.
There are many modern variations of gazpacho, often in different colors and omitting the tomatoes and bread in favor of avocados, cucumbers, parsley, watermelon, grapes, meat stock, seafood, and other ingredients. In Andalusia, most gazpacho recipes typically include stale bread, tomato, cucumber, bell pepper, onion and garlic, olive oil, wine vinegar, water, and salt.
Traditionally, gazpacho was made by pounding the vegetables in a mortar with a pestle; this more laborious method is still sometimes used as it helps keep the gazpacho cool and avoids the foam and the completely smooth consistency created by blenders and food processors. A traditional way of preparation is to pound garlic cloves in a mortar, add a little soaked stale bread, then olive oil and salt, to make a paste. Then very ripe tomatoes and vinegar are added.
In the historical description of gazpacho it was remarked [by whom?] that the original recipe uses bread, water, vinegar, oil and salt. This recipe is very old in the Iberian Peninsula, going back to Roman times. Every Andalusian region or comarca has its own variety. The humble gazpacho became a very deeply rooted food for peasants and shepherds in the south of Spain.
The basic gazpacho gave rise to many variants, some also called gazpacho, others not; some authors have tried to classify all these variations. Gazpachos may be classified by colour: the most usual red ones (which contain tomato), white ones (which contain no tomato, but include dried fruits), and green ones (which are white but contain some spices that make them green). These variants have their basic ingredients in common, garlic paste which works as an emulsifier, bread, olive oil, vinegar and salt. To the traditional ingredients red fruits such as strawberries, muskmelon, etc., may be added, making the gazpacho a bit sweeter.
|Gazpacho Recipe From Wikibooks Cookbook|
1 lb tomatoes
1/2 lb green bell peppers
clove of garlic
[Optional for thicker
soup: 2 oz white bread]
2-3 days old
1/2 mild Spanish onion
1 tbsp white or red wine vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
1/3 pt iced water
sea salt and black pepper
1/4 chili pepper [seeds removed]
1 tomato, skinned
1/2 green pepper
1/4 peeled cucumber
Skin the tomatoes and cut into quarters. Remove seeds and stalks from peppers. Peel the cucumber and cut into chunks. Tear up the bread and soak it in water for 30 minutes and then squeeze it dry. Cut up the onion.
Blend all the ingredients until roughly chopped, not too fine, because the soup should have texture and discernible vegetable bits. Pour into large bowl with some ice, add salt and pepper. Then prepare the garni. Dice the bread and fry it in a little olive oil until brown. Chop the other vegetables finely. Serve in separate little bowls on the table, so that guests can sprinkle on their own toppings.
Text Credits: Wikipedia || Gazpacho Wikibooks Cookbook
Image Credit: Gazpacho: Photo by centerbilder wikimedia CreativeCommons