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.

gaz

-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

Ingredients:

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

Instrucdtions:

  • 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.

Advertisements