The Secret to Spain’s Happiness – Gazpacho

Spain is notoriously known for siestas and fiestas, all in which contribute to the perceived happy culture of the Spanish people. But there is a less known secret about Spaniards happiness – Gazpacho. A cold and refreshing soup that Spaniards sip on to escape the hot rays of sun; this is the key to happiness – a cold bowl of Gazpacho on a hot day.

@Food&Tapas really nailed that meaning of Gazpacho in this tweet.


-So true, because there is a difference between cold soup and gazpacho you know! Via quick meme. To get a little more insight on the history of gazpacho! Because soup is more than just a scrumptious liquid, it has a complete history. Courtesy of Amanda M. Darling via her youtube Culinary History with Caroline

Here is the breakdown of Gazpacho:


How does one make Gazpacho though? Dana Wilde via OC Mom Blog elegantly explains the liquid happiness as follows:

A Taste of Spain… Andalusian Gazpacho

How could you not love a tomato-based soup with chunky pieces of cucumber and pepper? It was so refreshing and cool and at the height of summer helped conquer the heat of the city. It wasn’t until I visited Spain with my friend and roommate Katie that I first tried Andalusian Gazpacho. It was a completely different Gazpacho than what I had ever had before and I fell in love with it.

What was different? It was the slightly grainy, yet creamy texture, the tang of sherry vinegar and the not strong but still present garlic. It was zesty and refreshing and addicting and so much better than what I was used to.

After doing a little research, what I came to discover was the texture I loved so much in the Andalusian Gazpacho I had in Spain came from olive oil and… bread!

It’s not a quick and easy recipe. Not that it’s complicated really. It just takes some chopping, some blending, and some straining. It’s well worth it though.

Makes approximately 8 cups


4 slices of Italian country loaf (best if a day or two old, so it’s dried out a bit)

3 pounds of ripe tomatoes (roma or vine ripened)

2 cucumbers

1 red pepper

1 green pepper

1/4 medium red onion

3 cloves of garlic

¼ tsp of cumin seeds

sea salt or kosher salt

½ cup of Spanish extra virgin olive oil

3 Tbsp of aged sherry vinegar

Chives for garnish


  • Remove crust from the slices of bread. Crumble the bread into a bowl. Slice tomatoes in half or quarter and collect seeds with juice in the bowl with the bread. Add a tablespoon of sherry vinegar. Mulch it all together with your hands and let rest while you dice your vegetables, starting with the tomatoes.
  • Peel and dice cucumbers, leaving seeds in.
  • Remove core and seeds of both red and green pepper and dice.
  • Peel the red onion and dice ¼ of it saving remaining for another use.
  • Place all vegetables into a large bowl and toss together with about 3/4 teaspoon of salt and let rest while juices form about 15 minutes.
  • Toast cumin seeds on medium low heat until fragrant
  • Peel garlic and smash removing the bitter green center.
  • Place garlic, toasted cumin seeds, and ½ teaspoon of salt in mortar and pestle and smash into a paste.
  • Place the tomato and vinegar soaked bread into a food processor and add the garlic paste. Pureé until smooth.
  • Add one third of the vegetables and 1/3 of the extra virgin olive oil into the food processor with the bread garlic mixture still in the bowl and purée until smooth.
  • Place a strainer over an eight cup measuring cup and strain the mixture using the back of a wooden spoon to press the mixture through the strainer. Discard solids. Process the remaining vegetables and extra virgin olive oil in two batches and strain.
  • Once all three batches are processed and strained, pass through a fine sieve the second time, using the back of a wooden spoon to press through and once again discard the solids. While you can use a fine sieve the first time and strain only once, I think it’s easier to use a regular strainer first to get the larger chunks and then remove what’s left with the finer sieve.
  • Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of aged sherry vinegar and chill for at least 3 hours before serving. Garnish with a drizzle of the Spanish extra virgin olive oil and chopped chives.

For more details about Dana’s recipe go check out her post on OC Mom Blog. 

Also, how can one not be happy when they are eating something that looks this beautiful, pretty hard for someone not to feel joy! Look at these pretty gazpacho’s – works of art I say.

The key to happiness (well at least in Spain) is Gazpacho. So if you want to feel fresh, alive, and of course happy make yourself some gazpacho.


Swinter: A Season for Soup.

 Cold, Tired, stuck inside, these are often the symptoms of SWINTER. The transition between winter and spring, or what I like to call Swinter. “oh look it’s nice and warm out, just kidding let me dump a foot of snow and frigid temperatures on you.” Swinter is a season where it is still too cold to venture outside, yet you still feel extremely productive, so what does one do with some extra time while they wait for the spring flowers to bloom? It’s simple. Soup! Swinter is a season made for soup. While the weather tries to decide what it is doing outside you can cozy up with a bowl of steaming hot soup.


You say to yourself, “I can’t make soup.” Fear not! There are simple and easy soup recipes that you can tackle on a brisk Swinter day. CHUNGAH from Damn Delicious has 15 great quick + cozy soup recipes for you to create and consume.

Easy peasy homemade soups to keep you warm and cozy all year long!

It doesn’t matter if it’s 100 degree outside or 50. I reside in California so I’m not sure if it gets any lower than 50. Still, I could always use a bowl of soup. And with these 15 hearty soups here, you’ll be warm and cozy 365 days out of the year!”

You can find Chungah’s list here 15 Cozy Soups

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It is a fact, the colder the weather the more soup you consume.
Here is one soup you must absolutely try this Swinter via Katie from Healthy Seasonal Recipes I love mushroom soup! This particular take on it includes a walnut lentil pate crostini, a perfect pairing to warm you up on a chilly SWINTER day. Katie’s recipe is found below.

“This healthy vegetarian cream of mushroom soup with walnut lentil pate crostini is a make over of the classic recipe that you grew up with as a kid. Except this one is made from scratch and with the addition of the yummy crostini and truffle oil!


Don’t let the name fool you I know it sounds really fancy. But I assure you this recipe is not really challenging to make. The soup itself is also a total breeze.


  • 3 cloves garlic, divided
  • 1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • ¾ cup canned lentils, drained
  • ½ cup toasted walnuts
  • 1/3 cup chopped chives, divided
  • 2 tablespoons truffle oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 cups sliced mushrooms, any variety or mixed
  • ½ teaspoon dry thyme
  • ¼ cup dry sherry
  • ½ teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups vegetable broth, such as Imagine no chicken
  • 2 cups low-fat milk
  • 12 slices baguette, preferably whole-grain, toasted



  1. Mince ½ clove garlic. Sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt and mash into a paste with the side of a chefs knife. Transfer the paste to a food processor or mini-prep and add lentils, walnuts, 1 tablespoon chives, 2 teaspoons truffle oil, vinegar, 1 tablespoon chives and process to combine.
  2. Finely chop the remaining 2 ½ cloves garlic. Melt butter in a large heavy-bottomed soup pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and the remaining garlic and cook, stirring until starting to brown and soften, 4 to 6 minutes. Add mushrooms, thyme and the remaining 1 teaspoon salt and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and cook stirring often, until the mushrooms have released their juices and the juices have evaporated, 5 to 7 minutes. Add sherry and rosemary, bring to a simmer and let sherry evaporate until almost completely dry, 30 seconds to 2 minutes.
  3. Sprinkle flour over the vegetable mixture and stir to coat. Add broth, increase heat to high and bring to a simmer, stirring often. Add milk and return to a simmer, stirring often. Remove from the heat, stir in chives.
  4. Ladle soup into bowls. Drizzle the remaining 4 teaspoons truffle oil over the soup, dividing evenly. Spread the lentil walnut pate over the baguette and serve with the soup.

Not fancy in preparation, only in name.”

Thanks for that lovely recipe Katie!

Rachel Swalin mentions some great soups that will be sure to warm you up in her article about Super Foods that Warm You Up Test these out for yourself.

Black Bean Soup- “There’s nothing like a soup with cumin and chilli pepper to heat you up when things get cold. The nutrition star of this dish, though, is the beans. Black beans are a good source of iron and copper. So sipping on this soup will help your muscles use more oxygen and boost your immune system, Gans says.” Try the recipe out  via Health- Black Bean Soup

Rachel also mentions Pumpkin soup, she says

Pumpkin Soup- “If you’re lacking vitamin A, the nutrient critical for promoting vision, a dose of pumpkin will do you good. Pumpkin also has antioxidant properties thanks to beta-carotene, Gans says.” Try this recipe out via My recipes- Pumpkin Soup

Beating Swinter and even being healthy at the same time is as easy as soup.

Here are some more souparable mentions:

50 Cozy Soup Recipes

19 Easy and Cozy Soup Recipes

35 Cozy Soup Recipes

SWINTER is a season for soup. So grab a can of Campbell’s or try following a cozy recipe or heck throw some ingredients in a pot and you are good to go. All I have to say is you will be satisfied slurping on a steamy, hot, bowl of soup while you patiently wait for spring to arrive.