It was the bright juicy tomato of my garden, suddenly turned red overnight, that reminded me of gazpacho for the summer.
There are a million gazpacho recipes it seems and every restaurant has a version. So why is it so hard to get right? Part of the reason is that many cooks think it's just a cold tomato-dominated vegetable soup for summer and don't realize that what a cook aspires to is the harmonic balance of an orchestra of flavors that creates a culturally rooted and important soup. It is a soup from Andalusia and I have a wonderful recipe for gazpacho in my new book THE BEST SOUPS IN THE WORLD due to be published in December 2009 by Wiley.
Most gazpachos are, simply, made wrong.
[Photo: Kristin Mowry]
Take this photo to the left of a soup called a gazpacho. It is not gazpacho; this is a cold vegetable soup. The garnishes should never play a major role and never be served in the soup; they are garnishes always served on the side and used in miniscule portions.
Here's a photo of a true gazpacho; notice the orange and not red color, that's a mark of authenticity. The garnishes are not pictured because they are not the essential condition of a true gazpacho.