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THE GAZPACHO SOUP RECIPES
Red or Tomato Gazpacho - the classic tomato based Gazpacho soup so popular around world.
White Gazpacho - In Spanish this is Ajo Blanco which literally translates to white garlic. This is based on the original gazpacho, the Moorish version which is white.
Salmorejo - from the Cordoba region, this also uses tomatoes but is a thicker and more full-bodied version of the standard gazpacho.
The above recipes only touch on the huge variety of gazpacho recipes, each town in Spain seems to have its own version!
Now for the ingredients and they are simply chosen, always use vegetables in season. The whole point of a gazpacho is to use tip top vegetables and you only get those in summer. Tomatoes must be the ripest you can find if the recipes calls for them. If your shops don't stock them ripe enough then simply let them ripen on the window sill for a couple of days.
With tomatoes to be used in Gazpacho soup comes the question should they be peeled or not? Opinions vary but if you have the time then peel them, if not you can claim that the skin adds texture! And the same goes for tomato pips, remove them if you have the time. The alternative is to leave skin on and pips in and then pass the soup through a sieve, that sure gets rid of both.
If bread is part of the recipe, and most gazpacho soups should only be made with some bread then crusty thick French rolls are ideal and all the better for being one or two days old. Some recipes leave out the bread but it binds the soup and prevents it from being too sloppy. Other dense breads are also fine, as long as they are white.
As for olive oil, the golden rule is you use the best you can buy because it is a key ingredient in all gazpacho soups. Extra virgin Spanish olive oil is the best.
As far as garlic is concerned, take it easy for a couple of reasons. Firstly, raw garlic, especially when whizzed around a food processor, is much stronger compared to garlic in a cooked meal. The objective of gazpacho is that all the ingredients mingle together and none stands out from the others. Having said that, garlic is a key ingredient of gazpacho so it can't be left out.
Most gazpacho soups call for vinegar and it's generally accepted that sherry vinegar is the best although good wine vinegar will not disappoint. Similar to the garlic, go easy on the amount because it can easily overpower the other flavours.
Peppers are often used in gazpacho and here we are talking about sweet peppers, definitely not spicy ones. The type of sweet pepper is up to you, look for the ripest and freshest ones for sale. Definitely remove all the white pith from the centre of the sweet pepper and do the same for the pips if you don't plan to pass the soup through a sieve.
Ingredients to avoid include hot or spicy peppers and definitely no Tabasco sauce or similar to pep it up - Gazpacho soup doesn't need "pepping up", it should taste of fresh ripe vegetables and olive oil.