A very summery traditional Spanish recipe

One of the typical dishes of Mediterranean cuisine is the Gazpacho, originally from the autonomous community of Andalusia.
This “cold soup” of vegetables has many variations, due to regional and/or personal preferences. It is traditionally prepared as a mixture of tomato and other ingredients such as cucumber, pepper, onion, garlic, cumin, vinegar, and olive oil, and, in some cases stale bread; the latter is usually used to prepare Salmorejo which is a creamier soup made with similar ingredients and in different proportions. It is one of the most characteristic recipes of the Mediterranean Diet and of zero-waste cooking.

The origin of this recipe is located in Al-Andalus, it was initially a dish made out of bread soaked with water, oil and vinegar seasoned with some garlic and/or almonds. It wasn’t until later, after the arrival to America, that tomatoes and peppers began to be added, as well as other ingredients.
Its preparation is very simple: all the ingredients are chopped and an emulsion of cold water with oil, vinegar, salt, cumin, and minced garlic is prepared separately. Once the emulsion is well integrated, add the vegetables and bread.

This is a restorative dish that farmers, orchard men and shepherds could prepare directly in the fields; the dry bread from the previous days was used and dipped in water, and this mixture was added to the vegetables and other seasonal foods that were on hand. They prioritized seasonal crops that gave them the most energy to be able to alleviate long days of work in the sun. Indeed, it’s a refreshing and hydrating meal that helps to endure the hot summer days in Spain, especially in the South. It’s a field meal, made in a social context of sharing, using the resting times in the shade to socialize, share worries and advice and enjoy their time as a community

Regarding the health benefits of gazpacho, it is a source of vitamins A, C and E, important for eye health and the immune system. Also, most of this product is made out of water and contains mineral salts such as magnesium, potassium, zinc and phosphorus, which allows proper hydration of the body. In addition, its lycopene content, an antioxidant mainly contained in tomatoes, is a great ally for our skin as it protects against the sun, helping to reduce redness and blemishes, and minimizing damage caused by UV rays.