It’s the end of September. Es otoño (it’s autumn). However, the temperatures this week have been very high, so it still feels a lot like summer. It gets a bit chilly early in the mornings and then again in the evenings but quite hot during the central hours of the day. ¡Hace calor! (it’s hot!).
It’s always important to stay hydrated but we must be extra careful in this kind of heat. In the south of Spain they know a lot about very hot weather so they came up with the perfect solution: gazpacho.
What is gazpacho?
Gazpacho is a cold soup. Its main ingredient is tomate (tomato), but it has other vegetables too. So it’s refreshing AND it’s also full of vitamins and minerals.
Gazpacho originated in Andalucía, in the south of Spain that’s why it’s also called gazpacho andaluz. But you can find it in other regions too. And as it happens with most traditional dishes, it has many variations.
Here’s the basic recipe.
You will need:
- 1/2 kg tomates – they should be very ripe. In order to peel them, dip them in very hot water for a few seconds. The skin will come off very easily.
- 1/2 pimiento verde (green pepper)
- 1/2 pepino (cucumber)
- Ajo (garlic), 1 clove
- Aceite de oliva (olive oil)
- Vinagre (vinegar)
- 1 slice of pan (bread) – you need to soak it in a bit of water.
- Sal (salt)
Chop the tomates, pimiento and pepino and blend them together with the ajo and pan. Season to taste with the aceite de oliva, vinagre and sal. Keep it in the fridge for one hour at least. And it’s ready!
Gazpacho can be taken as a soup or as a drink. When served as a soup, it is common to garnish it with croutons, cucumber and tomato cubes and chopped onion and egg. Actually, some people also add cebolla (onion) to their gazpacho, but not everybody does.
If you are planning to drink it, you can add some water, so it’s not so thick and you can also leave the bread out.
Gazpacho is refreshing and nutritious, but it has other benefits too:
- It’s very easy to prepare! All you need is a few basic ingredients and a blender. No cooking necessary.
- It’s suitable for vegetarians and vegans. If you are ordering it at a restaurant, just remember to ask about the egg. It’s not part of the recipe, just a possible garnish. So even if the restaurant normally serves their gazpacho with some chopped egg, they should be able to accommodate you.
If you can’t remember how to ask about the ingredients in a dish, check my previous post Soy vegano/a.
- It’s potentially suitable for coeliacs too. If you are not preparing it yourself, just remember to ask whether they’ve added pan.
- You are on the Camino. It’s hot and you want some gazpacho but you can’t find it in bars/restaurants and you can’t prepare it. No worries! You can find it in supermarkets, in the chilled section, ready to drink.
Have you tried it already? No? What are you waiting for? Go get some gazpacho now!
For the pronunciation of pan, check Shopping on the Camino
For the pronunciation of aceite de oliva and sal, check Pulpo á feira
Today’s Spanish words and phrases
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