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Gazpacho: Spaniards are going crazy for cold soup

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Gazpacho: Spaniards are going crazy for cold soup
Gazpacho is the perfect lunchtime refresher in the summer heat. Photo: Harlan Harris / Flickr
16:21 CEST+02:00
Sales of the summery soup have skyrocketed by over 50 percent thanks to Spain’s long-running heatwave. The Local takes a look at the craze for gazpacho.

Spain has been sweltering under a seemingly neverending heatwave since the end of June, and one - perhaps unsurprising - effect is that sales of summer food have skyrocketed.

Spaniards are sticking to what they know, with gazpacho - a cold tomato soup typical during the summer months in Spain - and Horchata - a refreshing drink made from tiger nuts - among the favourites.

Gazpacho sales have risen by 51 percent during the heatwave, while horchata sales are up 46 percent according to consultancy Nielson.

For Asís González de Castejón from Nielson, one reason for the sharp increase in sales is the severity of this summer’s temperatures in comparison to last year’s cooler summer:

"Two such different summers have led to spectacular growth, especially during the second week in July when sales of summer foods rose by 14.5 percent," he told Spanish news agency Efe.

The Spanish idiom "de gazpacho no hay empacho" meaning "You can't get enough of a good thing" epitomizes the Spanish love affair with this cold tomato soup.

Originally a classic from Andalusia, at the height of the summer gazpacho becomes a staple of menu del dias the length and breadth of Spain.

The ice-cold low calorie cold soup usually served during the hottest part of the day will energize anyone suffering in the current heatwave.

It can be drunk in a tall glass with ice or sipped from a spoon from a serving topped with cubed raw ingredients and croutons.

Every family will have its own recipe but its constituent parts are tomatoes, garlic, olive oil and cucumber. Sometimes with bread and peppers added.


Photo from the Lentils on Friday blog by Anneke Kooijmans

How to make gazpacho:

Madrid-based food blogger Anneke Kooijmans shares her favourite gazpacho recipe with The Local. She can be found writing about gazpacho and other Iberian favourites at Lentils On Friday.

Anneke’s gazpacho recipe (serves four to six):
 
1 thick slice of bread (most people don’t use the crust, I do)
1 red pepper, deseeded and cut into quarters
1 kilo ripe plum tomatoes, quartered and hard white parts removed
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar
6 tablespoons of olive oil
salt
 
Roast the bread in a frying pan without any oil, until the bread has dried, but has not browned yet.
 
Turn the bread around once. Mince the bread to breadcrumbs in a blender, set apart.
 
Cream the pepper in a blender or food processor. Then add the tomatoes, salt and garlic and cream. Mix in the oil, vinegar and breadcrumbs. Taste and add more salt if necessary, or add water if the soup is too creamy.
 
Poor into a serving bowl cover and let the soup chill in the fridge for at least an hour.
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