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Gazpacho is (afaik) a tomato-based soup, eaten very cold. I was wondering if there is a difference between gazpacho and other soups, apart from the temperature eaten at.

Could you heat gazpacho and eat it like a normal soup? Could you chill a normal tomato-based soup and call it gazpacho? Are there ingredients that are mandatory when making gazpacho? Or things you certainly cannot add?

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4 Answers 4

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Gazpacho is possibly Spain's most famous chilled soup. The main difference aside form the temperature is that it's raw, meaning that the soup is not actually cooked it's just blended and chopped vegetables and occasionally bread. There is nothing inherently wrong with heating up gazpacho but it would lose its fresh texture and flavour which is why it's chilled and according to Wikipedia was popular with labourers who used it to:

"cool off during the summer and to use available ingredients such as fresh vegetables and stale bread"

The main reason you couldn't just chill a normal soup and call it gazpacho is because gazpacho is made up of by no means just tomato. It contains tomatoes, a bit of garlic, cucumber, occasionally bread, some vinegar for tang and a drizzle of olive oil at the end.

If you wanted to make it your own (after all you're the chef!) you could add some Tabasco, bell peppers, spring onions or croutons at the end, basically anything you might find in a salsa dip. Use your common sense for what not to add but even in Spain they have variations that are not at all like what I would think of as gazpacho: in La Mancha they use it like a stew and add game (usually rabbit) and even wild mushrooms!

Hope this helps and gives you some inspiration, if you want a recipe a quick search on Google gives a multitude of results.

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See cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/15864/… for more variations –  TFD Jan 31 '12 at 21:40

The big difference is that gazpacho is not just eaten cold, it's never heated in the first place: it's basically just a puree of raw vegetables. Regular tomato soup is cooked.

The other differences are that tomato soup is mostly tomato, with maybe some onions but really no other vegetables. Gazpacho, on the other hand, involves at the very least cucumbers, peppers, onions, and garlic in addition to the tomatoes.

Because the onions and garlic are raw, gazpacho is often pretty hot-as-in-spicy. (I tend to not like it for this reason.) No proper tomato soup would ever be anything other than tangy and slightly sweet.

Really, other than containing tomatoes and being of a soupy consistency, gazpacho and tomato soup have pretty much nothing in common.

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Gazpacho isn't hot at all. The Spanish, generally speaking, do not enjoy spicy food. –  BaffledCook Jan 31 '12 at 21:33
    
While the baffledcook's remark that the Spanish don't generally like spicy food is correct, some Spaniards put a lot of garlic in gazpacho, and this can result in a slight sting, particularly when the cook has gone overboard or like it that way. –  Dan Fox Aug 29 '13 at 10:30

Actually, according to Janet Mendel, author of numerous Spanish cookbooks, any cold, mostly-vegetarian, mostly-raw soup can be called gazpacho. For example, Traditional Spanish Cooking has a gazpacho made with almonds and grapes.

So while the tomato-garlic-and-onion version is the most common version, it's really the coldness and the rawness which makes gazpacho what it is, not the tomatoes.

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almonds gazpacho is called gazpacho blanco and it is another kind of gazpacho, typical from the south of Spain (original from Córdoba). –  user17851 Apr 15 '13 at 10:49

Gazpacho is made with ripe tomatoes, green pepper, onion, garlic, cucumber, olive oil and salt. You can even sometimes add bread and red pepper. Everything is crushed while raw, strained and allowed to cool in the fridge.

Almond gazpacho, or white gazpacho, (as mentioned in a previous answer) does not exist. What does exist is another cold soup called Ajoblanco, which consists of crushed raw peeled almonds, garlic, bread, oil, vinegar, water and salt.


Original Text:

El Gazpacho está hecho con tomates maduros, pimiento verde, cebolla, ajo, pepino, aceite de oliva y sal. En algunas ocasiones se le pone pan y pimiento rojo. Se tritura todo en crudo, se cuela y se deja enfriar en la nevera.

El gazpacho de almendras o gazpacho blanco (como dicen en una respuesta anterior) no existe. Lo que existe es otra crema fría llamada Ajoblanco que consiste en triturar almendras peladas crudas, ajo, pan, aceite, vinagre, agua y sal.

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I can't edit or I'd correct the translation, but I can comment... The Spanish Wikipedia page on gazpacho talks about gazpacho blanco cordobés, and describes the recipe as "the original recipe plus almonds". It also talks about gazpachos blancos as a class of gazpachos, as does the Anexo:Gazpachos page, which calls ajoblanco "one of the Andaluz almond gazpachos". –  Peter Taylor Apr 15 '13 at 16:26

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