Andalusia in Spain is located in the south of the Iberian peninsula, east of Portugal and the Atlantic Ocean; and north of the Mediterranean Sea and the Strait of Gibraltar, which separates Spain from Morocco, and the Atlantic Ocean. It’s divided into 8 provinces that include Almería, Cádiz, Córdoba, Granada, Huelva, Jaén, Málaga and Seville. While I was there, I loved eating Gazpacho so it inspired me to create a recipe for Andalusian Gazpacho,
- 4 large ripe tomatoes (blanched and peeled) Chunked
- 1 green bell pepper (seeded and cut into chunks)
- ½ large cucumber or 4 small cucumbers coarsely chopped
- ½ onion coarsely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- salt to taste
- ¼ tsp ground cumin
- Tabasco (a couple drops) to taste
- 5 tbsp lemon juice
- 16 oz of pure water
- Popular toppings include: chopped tomatoes, chopped onions, chopped peppers, chopped cucumber, croutons, or hard-cooked eggs, Also sometimes used are: chopped mint, chopped olives, pimento, diced apples, pears, melon or grapes, dill, oregano, parsley, basil, chili powder, cilantro, sour cream, yogurt,
- To peel, the tomatoes drop them into boiling water for about 1 minute. Take them out and let them cool. The skin should peel right off. Then chop into chunks
- Put the tomato into a food processor with the bell pepper, cucumber and onions until they are pureed. (If your blender is small you may have to do this in batches)
- If you want your soup smooth, strain the pureed vegetables and put them into a large bowl or soup tureen. If you want to enjoy more of the fiber in the vegetables, don't strain them.
- Add salt to taste, cumin and lemon juice, Tabasco to taste, water and stir. Add more water if you want a thinner soup and then correct the seasoning to your taste.
- Chill for at least 1 hour.
- Top with your favorite garnishes
The origins of Gazpacho goes back to Roman times. However, the recipe evolved as it is today after Columbus discovered America and brought back tomatoes and cucumbers from the New World. There are many variations of it.
Gazpacho is filled with healthy vegetables, but if you can, use organic vine ripened tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers for the best flavor and nutritional value. Experiment by adding your favorite herbs and other garden vegetables.
Tomato based gazpacho, as opposed to creamier versions, is the most power-packed soup as far as nutrition is concerned and is often referred to as liquid salad.
To be truly authentic, you can mash up the ingredients in a mortar, but using a processor is perfectly acceptable and much easier.
The wonders of Andalusia
Andalusia is a romantic and magical place to visit and is known for gypsies, flamenco dancers, Moorish palaces like the Alhambra in Granada pictured below, and beautiful scenery.
Are you a fan of cold soups? Please leave a comment and tell us your favorite.