Today offers an excuse to eat your daily dose of vegetables in celebration of Gazpacho Day, observed annually on December 6. This chilled soup is most popular in its tomato variation, but several recipes await your sampling.
Gazpacho is a culinary icon of Spain, created by blending fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, onions and seasonings. Imagine a slightly chunky V-8 savored with a spoon.
Likely concocted as a means to utilize an abundance of tomatoes and old bread, it is served chilled as a refresher from Spain’s Mediterranean sun. Grandmothers’ secret ingredients add unique flavors and textures. Some include mint, oregano or basil. Others add the spicy heat of chili peppers.
One cook’s gazpacho may be topped with goat cheese while another’s will add more bread for extra thickness. Additions to basic tomatoes, cucumbers and onions are limitless. Just use your imagination.
White gazpacho is prepared with chicken stock, bread, cucumber, garlic, almonds and grapes. Green bell peppers and herbs are added to cucumbers and grapes to make a delicious green gazpacho.
Preparation couldn’t be easier. Just toss ingredients into the food processor and pulse. The end result should contain lots of vegetable bits. For an extra kick, add cayenne pepper to the lineup. Going formal? Add chunks of cooked shrimp or crabmeat into the finished soup before serving.
Seems odd to celebrate this chilled soup in December. One might surmise its ease of preparation allows more time for holiday chores. Whatever your plans for December 6 may be, take up your spoon and enjoy a savory bowl. There will be plenty of time left in the day to address those Christmas cards.