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“You can never have too much gazpacho!”
A Spanish idiom for “You can never have too much of a good thing!”
What is Gazpacho?
Gazpacho is a classic chilled healthy Spanish soup perfect to sip on a hot, balmy summer day or sultry evening. I like to describe gazpacho as a savoury smoothie with snappy exciting flavours.
This healthy Spanish soup is mainly made with fresh tomatoes, red peppers and cucumbers. The soup is zesty and tangy mainly due to the Spanish sherry vinegar, oranges and red onions.
For added texture, gazpacho is topped with a medley of raw diced vegetables, parsley and crunchy gluten-free croutons.
Where does it originate from?
Gazpacho comes from Andalucía where summers are very dry and hot, the soup was created from their abundance of olive oil, tomatoes and red peppers.
Is Gazpacho gluten-free in Spain?
A few years back I was looking forward to sampling a good gazpacho while visiting Madrid. Unbeknown to me, I was disappointed to learn that bread is used to make gazpacho, so I never had a chance to sample one gluten-free.
As one of the main ingredients turns out to be bread, this ingredient is important to soak up the flavours and thicken the soup. Besides its role in the soup, it is a great way to use up any stale bread and bring it back to life.
Some tips for the perfect gazpacho
If you like to make your gazpacho as authentic as possible, I recommend using Spanish sherry vinegar, as it balances all the flavours together perfectly without being too powerful and acidic.
Look for the freshest tomatoes, organic if possible. When tomatoes are in season, they taste sweet and perfect for gazpacho.
Prepare the gazpacho the day before. This gives the flavours time to develop together and thoroughly chill.
The croutons can be made the day before as well, but make sure to store them in a good air-tight tin or container to prevent them from going soft.
It is better to chop all the vegetable toppings for the gazpacho before serving. They will taste crisp and fresh if prepared at the last minute.
I recommend serving gazpacho soup in small portions in attractive glasses or even in shot glasses if serving them as party food.
GLUTEN-FREE GAZPACHO SOUP
- 4 slices store-bought or homemade gluten-free sandwich white bread or soda bread
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 80 ml olive oil
- 60 ml good quality Spanish sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
- 4 good quality ripe tomatoes
- 1 red pepper/capsicum, chopped coarsely
- 1 cucumber, peeled and chopped coarsely
- 1 red onion, chopped coarsely
- 4 strawberries, stems removed
- 80 ml freshly squeezed orange juice
- 2 tbsp red onion, diced finely
- 2 tbsp red pepper, diced finely
- 2 tbsp cucumber, diced finely
- 6 segments of fresh orange without the peel
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped finely
Preparing the gazpacho soup
- Gather and measure all the gazpacho soup ingredients together.
- Slice the crusts off each bread slice and tear them into small pieces.
- Combine the torn bread with garlic, olive oil and sherry or red wine vinegar in a small glass or ceramic bowl. Set aside to marinate for 30 minutes.
- Remove the tomato skins by cutting a “cross” at the stem part of the tomato.
- Plunge them in a pot with boiling water.
- After 1 minute, remove the tomatoes and immediately plunge them into a bowl of iced water. This will buckle the skin and make it easy to peel.
- Remove the tomatoes from the cold water and peel the skins off the tomatoes.
- Place all the gazpacho soup ingredients listed including the soaked bread mixture into a blender and blend until smooth.
- Strain the blended mixture into a bowl or large jug and chill for at least two hours. Overnight is ideal so that it develops flavour.
- Prepare the croutons by slicing off the crusts and cutting the bread into small squares.
- In a small bowl, add the bread cubes and sprinkle the salt, smoked paprika and cumin over them, mixing well.
- Heat a wide pan and add the olive oil. Over medium-high heat, add the bread cubes and fry them until golden brown, stirring often. Set aside or store in an airtight container until serving time.
Preparing the toppings for the gazpacho soup
- Chop the red onion, red pepper, cucumber and orange segments in small uniform pieces.
- Pour the chilled gazpacho soup into attractive glasses or shot glasses and garnish each serving with a mixture of the toppings, finely chopped parsley leaves and gluten-free croutons. Serve immediately.
- Keeps for 4 days chilled
- Not suitable to heat
- Suitable to freeze without the toppings
Gazpacho is best made the day before. This is perfect for planning ahead a dinner party or tapas evening. The croutons can be made a few days earlier, but store them in an airtight container so that they remain crisp.