Gazpacho

Gazpacho is a world-famous Spanish soup, typically served cold. The generic term “gazpacho” refers to any cold soup with a fruit or vegetable base. The origins of the famous Spanish soup actually come from Greece and Rome as well as the Arab culture. When Spain was under the power of the Romans, then the Ottomans in the 8th century, each culture had its own variation of Gazpacho. Then, however, the soup was a mixture of whatever soldiers had readily available – usually dried bread, garlic, and vinegar, ground with a mortar and pestle. It is likely the technique of using vegetables like tomatoes and cucumbers were added once Christopher Columbus brought back the then-foreign ingredients to Spain. After that time, the soup became very popular, particularly in the region of Andalusia in Spain (now believed to be the region that created Gazpacho). There are all sorts of varieties of Gazpacho, served hot or cold, with tomatoes, with fruit (like watermelon), or without. This recipe is uses the traditional combination of vegetables and is perfect for a hot, summer day!

Servings: 6

Ingredients:

2 pounds tomatoes, peeled, cored and cut into chunks

1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into chunks

1 cucumber, peeled and roughly cut into chunks

1 small red onion, peeled and cut into chunks

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1/4 cup red wine vinegar (plus more to taste)

Juice from 1 lime

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

Garnish (optional):

Parsley

Lemon wedges

Directions:

Add the chopped tomatoes, bell pepper, cucumber, red onion, and garlic to a blender or large bowl.

Blend everything with the blender or emersion blender in a deep bowl. Blend at a high speed until the mixture is very smooth, at least 2 minutes. While the motor is still running, add the vinegar, lime juice, 2 tablespoons salt, and black pepper. Slowly add the olive oil while continually blending. If the mixture seems watery, add more oil

Strain the soup through a fine sieve. Discard any solids. Chill the soup in the fridge until very cold – a minimum of six hours.

Before serving, season again to taste with salt and vinegar. Divide soup amongst 6 bowls and finish with a drizzle of olive oil, parsley, and lemon wedges, if desired.

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