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The hot, hot, humid days of summer make us yearn for cool liquid refreshment. Strength for tennis matches, boating, biking and sunbathing needs to be kept up with more than the odd cocktail and tonic. This pretty summer soup, gazpacho, was originally a native of southern Spain, but it has now gained worldwide popularity. Everyone in Spain has a slightly different version of this “liquid salad,” depending on family traditions and local produce.
Gazpacho is usually a tomato-based, vegetable soup, generally served cold. 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 Cordoba and Seville, using stale bread, garlic, olive oil, salt, and vinegar.
There are many modern variations of gazpacho, often in different colors and omitting the tomatoes and bread in favor of avocados, cucumber, parsley, watermelon, grapes, meat stock, seafood, and other ingredients. This refreshing summer soup, Gazpacho, is a great way to use up summer tomatoes and this soup travels well, so don’t forget it for your next picnic!
“Food is our common ground, a universal experience.”
~ James Beard