Cold soups: the most refreshing summer delicacies
Gazpacho is said to have ancient and humble origins related to the Andalusian peasants, who mixed fresh water with hard bread, vegetables and a good splash of oil that they always had on hand. It was not until well into the 17th century that the famous tomato was included in this type of cold soup, which would arrive from America to stay and reign supreme in Mediterranean cuisine with full honours.
Cold soups have different variants but only one technique: the emulsion of the fatty matter, mainly olive oil, with the rest of the ingredients, an emulsion similar to that of mayonnaise, which is produced when the vegetables are mashed; a more or less unctuous cream.
Here are some of the most popular cold soups, which are usually consumed mainly in the summer season.
1. THE ANDALUSIAN GAZPACHO
The most international of the cold soups is the Andalusian gazpacho, whose ingredients are usually tomato, bread, cucumber, onion, vinegar, extra virgin olive oil and salt. Pepper is not always used, although it is included in some traditional recipes.
The proportions and quality of the ingredients make all the difference. The extra virgin olive oil must be of the highest purity but not necessarily strong in flavour.
It is very difficult to have two gazpachos the same. Each region, each family makes them differently. The usual way is to peel the vegetables, crush them and pass them through a chinois, adding the oil and salt and emulsifying it with a blender. At the end, the vinegar is added, always carefully, because the tomato adds acidity.
Gazpacho served with its classic vegetable chunks. Author: cyclonebill
2. CORDOVAN SALMOREJO
Very similar to gazpacho but at the same time different is salmorejo cordobés, which only includes bread, tomato, salt, garlic and oil.
According to purists, vinegar should not be added, although a few drops of sherry vinegar is excellent. After preparing it, hard-boiled egg and a few strips of Iberian ham are added. In some areas, melon pearls are also added to refresh it.
3. THE JOJOBLANCO
Ajoblanco is the palest cold soup. In fact, it does not contain tomatoes but raw almonds, garlic, fresh water, breadcrumbs, water and extra virgin olive oil, as well as white wine vinegar and a pinch of salt.
Ajoblanco is usually accompanied by grapes or pieces of melon. Author: cyclonebill
Ajoblanco is not to be confused with gazpachuelo. The latter is a hot soup typical of fishermen that consists of fish stock and a kind of mayonnaise based on garlic, egg yolk and olive oil.
It is worth mentioning that in some areas of Andalusia a gazpacho is made with all the ingredients chopped into small pieces and seasoned, to which fresh water is added, and spooned into a deep bowl for the whole family. It is a recipe halfway between gazpacho and salad.
OTHER VERSIONS OF GAZPACHO
Some chefs have made excellent versions of the Andalusian gazpacho, such as the cherry gazpacho, which in addition to tomato has cherries, onion, green pepper, garlic, olive oil, salt, pistachios, anchovies and goat cheese. A masterful recipe by Dani García.
Cherry gazpacho. Author: Javier Lastras
Very easy to make is the beetroot gazpacho, made with ripe tomatoes, cooked beetroot, onion, green pepper, garlic, onion, sherry vinegar and salt. It can be served with a ham croquette.
The avocado dish is very attractive and is made with avocados, green tomatoes, onion, green pepper, garlic, vinegar and oil. It is often served with prawns.
Watermelon gazpacho is very fashionable. A refreshing and almost sweet version made with watermelon and cucumber, red pepper, ripe tomatoes, sliced bread, olive oil, vinegar and salt.
Cold soups do not necessarily have to be particularly acidic, but they tend to have a certain acidity. Therefore, their pairing in the kitchen seems more complex, although in reality it is not.
This type of cold soups harmonise perfectly with light, young and fruity red wines that have a temperature of no more than 12 degrees, so that there is a balance of temperatures between the drink and the food. In Vivanco you will find wine proposals that pair perfectly with these soups, you can explore the wines that best fit here.
What is your favourite cold soup?