Gazpacho

Gazpacho – guhspah-choh

by Andrea Evelsizer

You may have noticed the exciting new food cart that has been serving up tasty samples at local farmers markets this year. The Clear Lake Farmers Market has partnered with Healthy Harvest of North Iowa to bring cooking demos and tasting events to you each month. This month we will be sampling Gazpacho – a delightful, cold soup made with fresh raw vegetables.

It’s the perfect time to learn about this delicious, unique recipe since new vegetables are arriving at market each week and pretty soon you’ll have everything you need to make this soup at home.

I talked to Fabiola Allbee, who is going to be sharing her Gazpacho recipe with you at Farmers Market on July 14 and she told me that she and her husband first tried this soup while traveling in Madrid, Spain. “We just fell in love with it,” she said “because it is so tasty and fresh and you can easily make up a big batch that will last you all week.”

So I did a little digging to find out the history behind the soup and found that it has evolved into many different versions over time. Sources state that the soup originated in Spain and Portugal as a soup made of bread, olive oil, water and garlic but during the 19th century, tomatoes were added as main ingredient and this is the version that has spread internationally. Gazpachos are often classified by color: the most common red ones (which contain tomato), white ones (which contain no tomato), and green ones (which are similar to white but contain some spices that make them green).Modern gazpachos vary greatly and may have additions of avocados, cucumbers, parsley, watermelon, grapes, meat stock, seafood, and other ingredients.

I hope you’ll come down to Market on July 14 to try Fabiola’s Gazpacho and if you love it… here’s a recipe you can try yourself. Please note that this soup can be varied by your personal taste and ingredients you have on had so have fun and play around with it a bit. If you find the perfect recipe feel free to share it with us on Facebook!

Fresh Iowa Gazpacho

2 pounds tomatoes, roughly chopped (Fabiola suggests using cherry tomatoes for a sweeter flavor but any tomatoes will work)

1 medium red bell pepper, roughly chopped (green could also be used but expect a stronger flavor)

1 medium cucumber, roughly chopped (peeling is optional)

⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil

2-3 tablespoons rice vinegar (you may try sherry vinegar or wine vinegar too for variation)

3-4 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon garlic powder (may use fresh but since it’s a raw soup the flavor may be strong)

Salt and black pepper to taste

 

Optional

approx. ¼ red onion, roughly chopped (be careful here that the onion does not overpower everything)

2-3 green onions (to your taste)

1 medium fresh jalapeño, seeded and roughly chopped

1 small garlic cloves (instead of the garlic powder)

 

  1. Put the tomatoes, bell pepper, cucumber, olive oil, vinegar, garlic powder in a blender; season with salt and pepper. Process until smooth, adding up to ½ cup water if necessary. (Work in batches if not all the ingredients fit in your blender at once.) If you desire an even smoother texture you can stain through a food mill or sieve.
  2. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Refrigerate for up to a few hours before serving or serve immediately, garnish as desired.

 

Serve Cold and Garnish with:

diced tomatoes

diced cucumber

diced yellow or red peppers

diced onion (red or green)

oregano (fresh or dried) or other herbs

croutons

avacado

olive oil

salt and pepper

Can be served as a nutritious cool meal on a hot day or in small glasses (or shot glasses) as a snack or appetizer. This is a great drink to take for lunch. It will store well for 5-7 days in the refrigerator.