Gazpacho is a cold soup made of raw, blended vegetables and is widely eaten in Spain and Portugal during hot summers due to its refreshing and cool qualities. Originating from the Andalusia region of southern Spain, gazpacho is traditionally made from a mixture of puréed tomatoes and other ingredients such as cucumber, sweet bell peppers, onions, garlic, and olive oil. But you can also make fruit-based gazpacho with melons, or cucumber-based gazpacho. Like so many homemade recipes, there’s no one right way to make gazpacho, and there are endless variations made by Spanish families for generations.
Gazpacho is a soup that you can find everywhere in Spain, is more typical during the summer months, but gazpacho is a dish that can be seen throughout the whole year. Although it´s a traditional starter (a heavy starter, but still a starter), it can also be eaten as a tapa (In a smaller portion of course) and last of all, less frequent, but gazpacho is sometimes used as a drink
The History Of Gazpacho
There are many speculations about how gazpacho came to be a popular Spanish recipe, including one that says it is a soup of bread, olive oil, water, vinegar and garlic that arrived in Spain with the Romans. Due to the endless amounts of theories surrounding the dish, it’s hard to pinpoint which is the most accurate and it’s left to the imagination alongside personal opinion.
During the 19th century, red gazpacho was created when tomatoes were added to the ingredients. This version of gazpacho spread internationally and remains commonly known as the most iconic and widely used version of the dish. Tomatoes have become the most common ingredient globally for gazpacho. As time has gone on people have begun to make their own variations of the dish using ingredients such as avocados, cucumbers, parsley, strawberries, watermelon, grapes, meat stock, seafood and personal favourites to create the dish. In addition to the traditional ingredients, red fruits such as strawberries, muskmelon, etc., may be added, making the gazpacho a bit sweeter. Gazpacho may be served as a starter, main dish, or tapa.
The original recipe using bread, water, vinegar, oil and salt is traditional in the Iberian Peninsula. The food was seen as very humble as was most commonly ate by peasants and shepherds in Spain, it became a staple meal for them.
A popular variation of the dish comes from the town of Rota in the province of Cadiz. During times of drought, there was not enough water to make gazpacho, so they compromised and created arranque, which has the same ingredients as gazpacho, but requires less water and bread, making it match the consistency of cream instead of soup.
Different types of gazpacho
For a traditional gazpacho recipe you will need vine-ripened tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers and to blend them with heady garlic and rich olive oil. Crusty bread sneaks in there as well to add body and texture to the mix. The prep takes only 20 minutes, but you’ll let the soup rest in the fridge for at least an hour as the flavours meld into summer’s best soup. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and more olive oil before serving to achieve classic Spanish style.
Shrimp Seafood Gazpacho
Seafood lovers will adore this variation of gazpacho. Breaking from gazpacho tradition can greet you with a unique and fun recipe, this cold soup uses a tomato and clam juice cocktail for its base. You’ll add chopped avocado, cucumber, onion, fresh tomatoes, lemon juice, and cilantro for texture and flavour. You can even add shrimp to the gazpacho or serve it on top of the soup.
For a unique and fruity gazpacho ditch the tomatoes and instead, use the juicy taste of watermelon, cucumbers, sweet red bell peppers, mint, ginger, and pineapple juice. Onion and jalapeño pepper can spice things up, while honey balances it out. This version of gazpacho is cool and refreshing, just as it’s intended to be.
Try this amazing take on the classic chilled Spanish soup – this version is made with green veg, herbs and yoghurt. This beautiful and fresh soup gets its colour from cucumber, avocado, and honeydew melon. Onion, garlic, and jalapeño pepper add an unmistakable kick and to balance things out, you’ve got lime juice and white balsamic vinegar.
Other variations you need to try:
- Avocado gazpacho
- Gazpacho with shrimps
- Mango gazpacho
- Corn gazpacho with crab
Gazpacho Health Benefits
In a recent study published in the professional journal Nutrition, Metabolism & Cardiovascular Diseases, study authors examined the health benefits of eating gazpacho. Gazpacho contains Vitamins A, E and C, mainly in pepper and tomato, supporting cell growth, immune function, fetal development, vision and more!
Vitamin E supplements may prevent coronary heart disease, support immune function, prevent inflammation, promote eye health, and lower the risk of cancer.
Vitamin C is necessary for the growth, development and repair of all body tissues. It’s involved in many body functions, including the formation of collagen, absorption of iron, the proper functioning of the immune system, wound healing, and the maintenance of cartilage, bones, and teeth.
Gazpacho is an organic drink full of flavours and nutrients. Its organic ingredients protect your skin from damage caused by pollution, sun and stress. They are packed with vitamin C and antioxidants that give a glow to your skin and make it flawless. Getting youthful skin gets easier with a shot of Gazpacho. It provides extra protection to your skin.
One of the primary ingredients in gazpacho is tomatoes. Tomatoes are high in lycopene, an antioxidant that is thought to provide beneficial protection from prostate cancer in men.
Gazpacho can help treat hypertension. If hypertension is not treated early, it can cause heart attacks, ictus and kidney failure. Gazpacho has a certain vasodilator effect that helps control blood pressure which can lead to preventing hypertension.
Antioxidant properties of gazpacho, such as lycopene of tomato and Vitamin C, reduce the action of free radicals. Gazpacho is a tasty food that fights against wrinkles and skin spots produced by ageing.
Garlic is one of the most common Solfrío gazpacho ingredients, and it acts as a way to avoid difficult digestion. Garlic is extremely helpful in helping you easily digest foods whilst having great taste when paired with your favourite meals. Garlic also acts as a natural antibiotic that helps increase the body defences against bacteria and viruses. Eating foods rich in antioxidants can be beneficial in protecting you from potentially developing cancer. Not only that but, with this current research, scientists are proving that eating brightly coloured fruits and vegetables can also help improve cardiovascular health.
According to the study, approximately 25 per cent of adults have high blood pressure. However, regular consumption of gazpacho lower blood pressure significantly.
Gazpacho can treat dehydration by providing complete hydration to your body, dehydration can cause your skin to look pale and dry and can cause many mental and physical health problems!
You can buy fresh gazpacho ingredients or even pre-made gazpacho in our online store whether you want to test out making your own version of the classic dish or want a pre-made organic one waiting to be eaten the choice is all yours!