Many people believe gazpacho—that cold puréed soup usually, but not necessarily, made with sun-ripened tomatoes—originated in Spain. Although it is deeply rooted in Andalusian cuisine, it was Roman soldiers who carried around the garlic, vinegar, and bread that are the foundation of this summer delight. Blame the Romans! They brought gazpacho to Spain, where the Andalusians simply made it popular and improved upon its basic flavor structure.
With the bounty that summer’s heat brings to our gardens, I utilize anything we have in abundance to make this refreshing soup.
While gazpacho is traditionally made with tomatoes, peppers, garlic, and crumbled, often stale, bread, it has come a long way from its humble beginnings. With the bounty that summer’s heat brings to our gardens, I utilize anything we have in abundance to make this refreshing soup. I truly believe that any fresh vegetable, fruit, or combination of the two can produce a dish that is a treat for both the palate and the eyes.
It’s watermelon and strawberry season, so why don’t we try something sweet to spice up your next meal?
• ½ seedless watermelon, rind removed and cut into chunks
• 1 pint strawberries, stemmed
• ⅓ oz mint leaves, plus more for garnish
• Juice from 4 limes
• ½ habanero pepper, stemmed and seeded
• 1 mango, peeled, pitted, and diced
Throw everything but the mango into a blender and purée.
Divide among 6 glasses and garnish with the diced mango and finely chopped mint leaves. Place in the freezer until crystals form (about 45 minutes). Serve and be the hit of the party.
There is a saying in Spain, “De gazpacho no hay empacho”—“You can never get too much of a good thing or too much gazpacho.” After tasting this version, I’m sure you’ll agree!
Photography: Andrea Killam