Gazpacho is a generic term for a cold soup typically made with tomatoes and raw vegetables. However, the original version from the Andalucian region of Spain was made of blended stale bread, olive oil, garlic, and vinegar pounded together in a mortar then mixed with various vegetables or almonds. It is called a “liquid salad” and is easily assimilated to nourish the body.
Andalucia was a large farming area for olives and almonds, citrus, vineyards and cork trees. Centuries ago, field workers were given a food ration of bread and oil. Women would make gazpacho in the fields and it was a perfect soup to quench the thirst of the field workers.
Rumor has it that, before leaving on his first voyage, Christopher Columbus loaded his ships up with barrels of this old mixture. A Spanish refrain says, “De gazpacho no hay empacho” which translates to “There’s never too much gazpacho.” Ironically, National Gazpacho Day is December 6 when the traditional ingredients are out of season. Who wants cold soup in the winter? We say every hot summer day is Gazpacho Day!