Classic Spanish Chilled Soup with a Tangy Twist
The end of summer is officially here and I still have loads of fresh garden tomatoes hanging around my kitchen. It’s definitely time to make Gazpacho- the classic, chilled tomato-based raw vegetable soup that’s oh so refreshing on a hot summer day. You’d think since my mom’s family is from Spain that we enjoyed cool Gazpacho all the time growing up in hot and steamy New Orleans. But Gazpacho actually originated in the southern part of Spain, specifically in the region of Andalusia, and my mom’s family is from Northern Spain where the winters are cold and they’re much more known for their savory and hearty stews. As you might expect, my own go-to Gazpacho recipe has some added tasty twists and breaks from tradition.
Not So Classic Gazpacho
What makes my Gazpacho unique? Well, for one thing I don’t much care for cucumbers so you’re not going to find one here. But feel free to toss one in, I just have better things to do than peel and seed cucumbers, like come up with new delicious recipes for you!
Secondly, Gazpacho is traditionally thickened with day old bread. Don’t get me wrong, I like good bread as much as anyone, but I’d rather use heart-healthy walnuts to thicken and flavor my Gazpacho. For an extra layer of flavor, toast them first.
Next, I add some goat cheese to make it extra tangy and creamy. Right about now you probably think that I’ve completely lost it with my goat cheese fixation. But I’m telling you, a generous dollop of goat cheese added to gazpacho works! I mean, lots of people add heavy cream to tomato soup and call it bisque, right? And it tastes pretty good so just imagine what tangy, creamy, dreamy goat cheese can do for your classic Gazpacho! And it’s healthier too. How can you not love that?
Finally, I just don’t have time to spend an afternoon peeling vegetables and I’m totally not offended by some skins in my soup. So I just chop up those sweet red suckers from my garden and toss them right into the blender along with a spicy concoction of other tasty ingredients that make this thick and rustic Gazpacho like no other you’ve ever had!
Suggested Wine Pairings
This spicy, tangy tomato-based soup begs for a wine with enough fruit and acidity to stand up to and compliment the complexity of assertive flavors. If you like white wines, try a crisp one with a bit of zing like a Sauvignon Blanc or an exotic, food-friendly Spanish Albariño. A Soave or dry Riesling would also have enough acidity to knock out this tangy Gazpacho. If you prefer red wines, look for a lighter one with bright acidity like a Pinot Noir or a crisp red from Northwest Spain. For something different that tastes great with tomato-based soups, try a Rose or Spanish Sherry.