Summer is here and when organizing my weekly menus, gazpacho is always on my list. This cold, tomato based soup is originally from Andalucía, Spain and to prepare it you only need a blender, raw vegetables, Sherry vinegar and a very good olive oil. It doesn’t require any cooking, can be held in the fridge for several days and it’s very affordable.
Gazpacho can be served as an appetizer but also as a main dish, usually accompanied with croutons and small pieces of cucumber and red bell pepper.
The ultimate gazpacho experience can be achieved by pairing this refreshing soup with a glass of Sherry wine. For my taste, Fino and Manzanilla are the ones that pair the best. Both of these are fortified wines made with the Palomino grape and are fermented and aged under velo de flor. Manzanilla is exclusively produced in the town of Sanlúcar de Barrameda, an area that differentiates itself from the rest of the Jerez region thanks to its higher levels of humidity and milder temperatures. These conditions contribute to create a very unique profile of wine, known for being more delicate than Fino and marked by a higher salinity.
The acidity of the vinegar and tomatoes in the gazpacho complement the low acidity of the Fino and Manzanilla and the sweetness of the vegetables create a great balance with the dryness of the wines. Both flavor intensities are pronounced and long, creating a party for your taste buds.
Every region of Spain has its own version of gazpacho and I will share the recipe I learned while living in Barcelona. I believe it is a very simple version that only requires a few ingredients and is the one I always make at home.