This month for the International Food Challenge, we are heading to Spain and Sharanya of Just Not The Cakes, the host for this month chose the Andalusian cuisine. Andalusia is one of the most populous and second largest communities in Spain. The cooking in Andalusian cuisine is dominated by the use of olive oil. I chose to make Gazpacho soup which is the most popular dish of this region.
Gazpacho is a tomato based vegetable soup, traditionally served cold. This soup is eaten often in the southern part of Spain called Andalusia. Gazpacho is widely consumed during the summer months as its very refreshing and healthy to have on a hot day. The soup base is made from tomatoes and served with fresh vegetables, croutons for crunchiness and a drizzle of olive oil. You can serve some toasted bread or crostini alongside this soup for a complete meal.
The soup should not be watery or thin, so addition of stale bread helps in thickening the soup. You can use either green or red capsicum, but I used both to balance the flavor of tomatoes with slight bitterness from green capsicum and sweetness from red capsicum. Olive oil adds creaminess to the soup, so add lots while blending the soup and some extra while serving. Gazpacho is an ideal make-ahead recipe that just gets better with time. Make this soup as an appetizer or serve with some toasted bread as a main dish.
- Use fresh and ripe tomatoes. Choose tomatoes that are not too sour.
- Use white vinegar if sherry vinegar is not available.