I could have posted this blog entry earlier, at the beginning of Summer. But now, at the beginning of September temperatures here are still hot enough in Mallorca to enjoy a chilled gazpacho soup. Gazpacho has become an almost generic term for chilled vegetable soup. There are many regional variations; some are made with almonds, some with lots of garlic, some with stale bread and some with grapes.
You could enjoy a gazpacho the easy way by eating it at your local restaurant. But that would involve a certain risk. I have eaten some excellent gazpacho served in restaurants here in Mallorca, as well as elsewhere on the Spanish mainland, but I have also had to eat some rather unpleasant samples of cold Spanish soups that were called gazpachos but didn’t taste the way they should.
Alternatively, you could buy a carton of ready-made gazpacho soup from your local supermarket. You will probably find that the quality is better the more you pay for the package. Nowadays the small sum of between 2.50 € and 3 € should give you a good cold vegetable soup made with fresh ingredients and full of flavour, allowing for four servings. And you could always add your own bits to the ready-made soup, improving on taste and flavour, such as lemon juice and olive oil.
The very best way to enjoy a real good gazpacho however is to make your very own. And it could not be easier if you tried. Here is one way to make a good gazpacho, but there are countless variations:
Use 4 or 5 large ripe rama tomatoes (peeled, seeded, and chopped), 2 small cucumbers (peeled, seeded, and diced), 1 large wedge of watermelon (seeded, and diced), 1 onion (peeled, and thinly sliced), 1 red pepper (seeded, and diced), some parsley, some coriander, some lemon juice, some red wine vinegar, 4 cups of beef or chicken stock, 2 slices of stale pan pages without the crust, 1 clove of garlic (chopped finely), 1 tea spoon of sugar, black pepper, sea salt. Combine all of the vegetables and the broken up bread in a large bowl. Add the stock, the sugar, lemon juice and vinegar, and blend very briefly. Stir in the fresh herbs and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add some water if needed. Chill the soup for one hour before serving. Remove from the refrigerator, stir, let rest for 10 minutes and then pour a generous helping of best-quality extra-virgin olive oil over the soup. As an option, you could add three cooked langostino prawns per helping, and serve.
The photo was taken in Felanitx, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: September 4th, 2009. The time was 15:09:31.