Traditional Gazpacho

‘Water, no ice…’, I said to the waitress at the restaurant, and as is usual she brought me water that was ice cold. That is quite normal, what I can’t understand is the skeptical look most waitresses give me, when I ask them for water without ice.How did Americans learn to fill their glasses half way with ice first and then water? And what makes it so wierd to drink water without ice in it. Heck, I am from one of the hottest places in India, and we only drink cold water in the summer months..Actually, the preferred drink of most people in India, irrespective of how hot it is, would be hot coffee or tea.

Anyway, the pretense of this whole thing is ‘cold soup’. Of all things you could have cold, how could soup be cold? It almost seemed ironical to me. My association of soup always was with the steaming warm bowl, that mom made me when I was sick. Something about a spoonful of love infused broth would warm you up from the inside out. I was skeptical about trying this concept of cold soup….but I thought: ‘evlavo pannitom..idha panna maatoma, :)’ translated as ‘I’ve tried so many different things, why not this?’.

It was scorching hot outside..and the house felt like an oven. Believe me, people from the east coast or from down South reading might be quite normal elsewhere..but for Seattle…its hott…I wanted something cool and refreshing. I followed Mark Bittman’s recipe here for this Spanish Cold soup, from the book: How to Cook Everything: Bittman Takes on America’s Chefs. I didn’t think I would say this, but I loved the cold soup. I am still sticking with ‘water-no ice’ though. 😀

3 large tomatoes, chopped
1 medium cucumber, peeled and diced
3 slices whole grain white bread, torn into small pieces
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for garnish
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, chopped
Salt and black pepper to taste

Blend all of the ingredients until you get a smooth puree. Serve at room temperature or chill for a couple of hours and drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil before serving.

Verdict: I was surprised at how fresh the soup tasted. The vinegar added a nice tang and accentuated the taste of the tomatoes. The bread thickened the soup beautifully. A good way to use up summer tomatoes from the garden.

I am sending this to ‘IHCC-Raw foods’ this week, and also to ‘AWED-Spain‘ Event, started by DK and this month @ MharoRajasthan.

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  1. This looks great – I love gazpacho in the summer, and it always reminds of trips to Spain. On a recent visit to Barcelona, I did a cooking class in which they taught us another chilled tomato soup that was served with alioli, a walnut & parsley pesto, and a beautiful smokey cheese.

  2. Mmm, I adore gazpacho. I was reading a version in Cook’s Illustrated that uses blending with a slow stream of olive oil to get a creamy texture. Yours looks nice and creamy without that!

  3. I have come to really love cold soups so i am glad you gave this a try and liked it. It looks delicious and perfect for summer and Raw Foods week. 😉

  4. I love that this is a smooth version of gazpacho! It looks delicious & refreshing. Thanks for joining us at IHCC again:)

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