How are you? How is everybody coping with this heat? It doesn’t look like it’s going to give us a break. Honestly, I cannot yet believe I have switched from wearing coat to shorts overnight. But, hey! I can see happy faces on the street and people putting the hard times behind. Then, heat, you are very welcome.
The range of food associated with Spanish summer is absolutely endless: tapas, cold soups, salads, iced coffees, cocktails… But there is one, just one, that holds the champions title-and will always do so. I am talking about Gazpacho, one of our summer essentials specially for the southerns as they have to cope with insane, prolonged temperatures all over the summer. In fact, it is understood to have originated in the Andalucia region during these dates. Farmers and field workers from the rural areas would make it in the past in order to stand the heat during their shifts. Using whatever veggies they had on the day, they used to crush them manually (with mortar and pestle) and add some bread, olive oil, salt, vinegar and water. In summary: it’s a liquid salad. But what a salad!
There are many ways to prepare this meal. You can add more or less ingredients, skip the bread or make it less liquid than usually. At home I follow my girlfriend’s recipe which has passed down through her grandmother. She likes it simple, watery and it’s also fine for me. We also agree on adding some chopped cucumber, but this is totally optional.
Let me say one more thing: people is usually divided between gazpacho and salmorejo lovers. It is important to remark that they are two completely different meals despite the appearance. On one side we have a tomato soup and a liquid salad on the other. Which side are you on? I would like to hear you so try the recipes and leave me some feedback on the comments box.
INGREDIENTS (SERVES 2)
Medium tomatoes (6)
Large green pepper (half)
Large red pepper (half)
Garlic cloves (2)
Small bread slice (1)
Cucumber for decorating (optional)
DIRECTIONS FOR COOKING
Roughly chop the tomatoes, the peppers and the bread. Then, halve the garlic cloves and remove the germ. Tip everything into a deep recipient or a blender beaker.
2. Add a olive oil and salt as if you were seasoning a salad. Grind the content using a hand blender. Add water if it’s too thick and to increase the quantity (it should end up completely liquid). Likewise, add more salt if it’s falling short of it.
3. Strain in a separate recipient to remove all the solid bits and store in the fridge for a couple of hours before serving (you can also throw some ice cubes like in the picture).
4. Serve in a bowl with some chopped cucumber or in a glass for drinking.