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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Mediterranean Gazpacho Soup



Gazpacho originated in southern Spain. It is a cold soup and requires no cooking. Moreover, it is cholesterol free, low in calories and high in vitamin C.
The main ingredient of Gazpacho is tomato, which grows in abundance in southern Spain. But as you might imagine, being Spanish in origin, it also contains onions, garlic and olive oil. Again, these are readily available and, of course, inexpensive.
Tomatoes provide the sweetness, as well has being high in vitamin C, and paprika gives the soup a bit of spice.
The ingredients are:
25 g fresh breadcrumbs
2-3 tablespoons virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon paprika
225 g tomatoes
3 spring onions
small clove of garlic
1/4 of a large cucumber
1/2 red pepper
1/2 yellow pepper
Juice of a lime
450ml tomato juice
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Method: Boil 150 ml water and add to it the breadcrumbs, oil and paprika in a bowl. Remove the skins from the tomatoes by dipping them in hot water. Cut the tomatoes in half so that you can remove and discard the seeds. Then chop the flesh. Trim and dice the spring onions, and peel the garlic and cucumber. The peppers should also be diced. Keep back some of the diced vegetables to place in the middle of the soup when it is ready to be served.
Blend together until fairly smooth the mixture of breadcrumbs, cucumber, peppers, onions and garlic. Stir in the lime juice. Then add this mixture to the tomato juice and chopped tomatoes, season and chill for at least an hour.
There are different ways of making Gazpacho and this is likely to vary from region to region. I suspect this recipe is quite a modern variation on traditional ones as I have had Gazpacho in Marbella on the south coast of Spain and I am certain there was no bread in it. Nevertheless, this is a tasty, healthy and inexpensive dish with plenty of vitamin C, not only from the tomatoes but the peppers too. Red and yellow peppers contain four times as much vitamin C as oranges. Garlic is good for many things including the immune system and circulation, infections and so on.
As regards where the word Gazpacho comes from, this is more vague. I once read it was to do with "edible treasures" but apparently it comes from the pre-Roman Mozarab word caspa, which means "fragments" or "flakes", as in small pieces of bread.
Vanessa J Alexander is an accomplished Spanish tutor and teaches both face-to-face and live over the Internet to students based anywhere in the world. Having lived in Spain herself for over 10 years, she experienced first-hand the culture of Spain and the subtleties of the language. With effective Spanish Lessons you too can become proficient in this popular and widely-spoken language. Alexander is also a Voice Over artist in English, Spanish and French. See:
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