Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Gazpacho Soup Plus Some Variations


Cold gazpacho soup makes a light and refreshing lunch on these sultry summer days when you’re craving something healthy and don’t want to heat up your kitchen. If you’ve been reading My Carolina Kitchen for a while, you may remember the gazpacho soup that I prepared for a guest appearance on Lazaro Cooks a while back. I decided to do a re-run of it plus some variations because it’s one of our very favorite soups and it deserves its own place here at home in my stable of recipes.

Did you know tomatoes haven't always been in gazpacho soup? Gazpacho is an ancient soup, believed to have originated with the Arabs, and comprised of only bread, olive oil, water, and garlic. Later the Romans added vinegar. Even though Cortez brought the tomato to Spain in the 16th century, it wasn’t added to the recipe until the 1700s. At the time, the tomato was believed to be poisonous and consequently only grown as a decorative plant. A famine in Italy 200 years later caused starving peasants to eat the tomatoes with no ill effect and the rest, as they say, is history.

From time to time I’ve played around with the basic ingredients in gazpacho, used different vinegars - sherry, rice, balsamic, or combinations, purchased different colored bell peppers, substituted V-8 for the tomato juice, added a fresh jalapeno for heat, and used homemade croutons as a garnish.

I also happen to get bored easily and am always on the look-out for new twists on old favorites. I’ve seen three other gazpacho recipes that sound intriguing: one with pineapple as a base, one with watermelon, and one with mango, which I’ll show you below. But first, here’s a classic chunky gazpacho with a couple of different garnishes that’s our family favorite.


Classic Chunky Gazpacho – Basic Recipe
Adapted from “At Blanchard’s Table” – serves 8

8 plum tomatoes (or 4 large heirloom or beefsteak tomatoes), core removed & cut
into quarters
1 large red bell pepper, seeded & cut into quarters
1 medium seedless cucumber, peeled and cut into chunks
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 ½ tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 ½ cups tomato juice
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
2 tablespoons minced red onion

Place the tomatoes into a food processor and pulse until very coarsely chopped but not pureed. Remove from the bowl, and repeat with the pepper & cucumber.

In a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, lemon juice, oil, and tomato juice. Add the cayenne, salt, pepper and chopped dill to the vinegar mixture. Add the chopped vegetables and minced onion and mix well. Chill and serve cold.

For the seafood theme seen above

Prepare the basic recipe for gazpacho. Serve very cold, garnished with fresh lump crab meat.


For a tropical twist as a garnish

Prepare the basic recipe for gazpacho. Serve very cold, garnished with chopped mango and a sprig of fresh dill.

Mango Gazpacho
Adapted from "Perfect Recipes for Having People Over" by Pam Anderson

2 cups of small diced fresh mango, peeled and seed discarded
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small seedless cucumber, peeled and cut into small dice (about 2 cups)
1 small red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into small dice (about ¾ cup)
1 small onion, cut into small dice (about ½ cup)
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced (optional, but recommended)
2 cups orange juice, preferably freshly squeezed
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
3 - 4 tablespoons chopped fresh basil (or cilantro or parsley)

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Stir well and chill. Serve cold. Garnish if desired with grilled wild-caught shrimp that have been seasoned before grilling with sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, and sweet smoked Spanish paprika, also known as Pimenton de la Vera.


The two variations below are also from Perfect Recipes for Having People Over by Pam Anderson

Pineapple Gazpacho

Substitute pineapple for the mango and pineapple juice for the orange juice in the Mango Gazpacho recipe above.

Watermelon Gazpacho

Substitute small diced seeded watermelon for the mangos and use a yellow bell pepper for the red one in the Mango Gazpacho recipe above.

Printable recipe for basic gazpacho & variations

Tasting note: Although the mango gazpacho was very refreshing and the multi-colors of the various ingredients looked spectacular in the bowl, the tomato based gazpacho will always be our favorite. In fact when I asked my husband the question I always ask when we try a new recipe, “Would you have this again?” he said no. When I asked why, his answer was, “I just don’t like it.” I’m curious. Have you ever made gazpacho with unusual ingredients and what did you think of the results?

I am linking this to:
On the Menu Monday at Stone Gable
La Bella Vita’s Fresh Food Friday
Foodie Friday at Designs by Gollum

So take your appetite on over and have a look. You’re guaranteed to come away hungry, and don’t say I didn’t warn you.


41 comments:

  1. Sam,
    These look wonderful. Love the garnishes. This is certainly the time of year to have this.
    Carol

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  2. Great looking summer soups Sam. I especially like the one with the crab claw. I think we have everything to make some.

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  3. Mmhhh, delicious! I really love eating gazpacho when it's hot outside.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  4. Beautiful! Gazpacho is a favorite of mine. When I was expecting our first son, I'd see the doctor, get weighed and then take my lone self to lunch at Cafe Lautrec overlooking the cove in La Jolla. I had a bowl of gazpacho and a warm brownie a la mode to finish. Thanks for the memories and the recipes.

    Best,
    Bonnie

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  5. Love this soup. Perfect for these blazing hot days we are having. Love that you added oj and cucumber to it. That is new to me and I am liking the flavors that would create

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  6. It is one of our very favorites also.

    Well me..I just LOVE it.

    Pretty presentations Sam~

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  7. Delicious and refreshing! your photos are wonderful too....

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  8. I like the additions of dill in one recipe, and orange juice in another. Those kinds of additions are the ones that intrigue guests. I just made a large batch of gazpacho last weekend - it was very simple and instead of including cucumber in the base, it was chopped as the garnish, which was fun.

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  9. They all sond wonderful. I had planned on making some this weekend! I have an abundance of red peppers and tomatoes...

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  10. dang - is this out of this world or what - very inspirational Sam - thanks

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  11. My latest discorty last yer was the watermelon gazpacho, but I would love all of these variations Sam!

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  12. I just made gazpacho a couple days ago...but just the plain old version. I love all your varieties...the photos are so mouth watering~

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  13. I wonder why I never make Gazpacho, it is on my to do list. I even have all the ingredients in the fridge!! Thanks for this. Diane

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  14. I absolutely love gazpacho and learned to make it when I lived in Spain. My family loves it too, so I don't really get a chance to play with the flavors much--I think I'd get a public outcry if I did! :-)

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  15. I like you new look. And these photos are great. Never had the gazpachao soup before.

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  16. What a beautiful post - I am going to try the classic chunky. My husband has finally given in and tried tomatoes again (he was convinced he despised them since childhood) & of course loves them.

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  17. whoa..this makes my tummy growl! So pretty and appetizing!

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  18. Just love Gazphacho.....your recipes love wonderful. It is such a fun summer soup:)

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  19. I love gaspacho but never made it...I love your variations and would love to try them all :-)
    Beautiful pictures as well.
    Hope you are having a great week Sam!

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  20. What a rainbow of colors! Love that claw shot! Hot? What's that? I haven't seen sunshine in almost two weeks, where I work. I have to wait until I get home at 6pm to catch a small patch of blue sky. I'm hoping for an Indian Summer! These would be good in hot or cold weather.

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  21. These all look great! That claw is wonderfully dramatic-- and just a tad intimidating.

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  22. If that isn't the most beautiful soup I've ever seen I don't know what is! Your photos are stunning, Sam. You have captured the colors and textures perfectly. Mango gazpacho - what could be better?

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  23. Now this sounds and looks delicious, Sam. You always cook the most tempting things!

    I hope you have been well. I'm still struggling some, but we are over several hurdles. I'm trying to pace myself, and so is Mr. Magpie.

    I have missed you SO much, and I appreciate your kind thoughts and friendship more than you know.

    Love to you and your sweetie...

    XO,

    Sheila (who hopes that we can get together this year!)

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  24. Do you ever know your way around gazpacho. I will be making the mango and chunky one - definitely. And then play. Interesting history - I always associated it with tomatoes first and then variations. Kind of intrigued with the Arab origins (almost a panzanella salad soup) and the ingredients! Your helping to keep us cool!

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  25. love these soups Sam, thanks for the kind words on the delivery its such a blessing to know you

    hugs Rebecca

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  26. I love that you serve your gazpacho with crabmeat, delicious! And the fruit gazpachos sound just lovely!

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  27. Oh, Sam. You have put me into visual desire. The look delicious!

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  28. They all look amazing, Sam! I think the tropical mango one is my absolute favorite with that grilled/roasted shrimp sticking in it.

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  29. Wow, great timing. I have an avalanche of tomatoes this year and my last post was seeking ideas for cherry and grape tomatoes. I have plum tomatoes too. I think I'm going to try the gazpacho with lump crab - that sounds delicious!!

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  30. I would love the version with crab meat! I'm glad you are easily bored and have come up with all of these wonderful variations ;)

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  31. I love gazpacho. Each summer I make an effort to make a batch or two. It's so fresh!

    Your varieties look wonderful. All are delicious, no doubt.

    Velva

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  32. What lovely soups, Sam! Each one looks fabulous. Cool soups in the summer are a wonderful way to use of the fresh vegetables that are always on hand!

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  33. Gazpacho is one of my summertime favorites and these variations look delicious. Heading out to the Farmers Market today and I hope they have wonderful tomatoes.

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  34. Sam, they look gorgeous! I am definitely making the Classic Chunky Gazpacho this weekend!

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  35. Wow Sam. I am impressed. I will bookmark this post for all of the good info and recipes. Your pictures are stunning.

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  36. I love the theme and variation you've shared with us today, Sam. Your soups are most appealing and your photos are stunning. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

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  37. I'm just not sure which one I like best, Sam. Think I'll take one of each. Thanks for the history.

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  38. yum yum! I was just saying that we needed to give gazpacho a try! All look amazing!

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  39. I just posted this to facebook. The photos are gorgeous and I want to each variety. Now!

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  40. I just made gazpacho for the first time in my life. Loved it. Thanks for the variations here as I'm anxious to give it another try. Love your photos as always Sam.

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Sam