Real gazpacho with stale bread

The origins of gazpacho have nothing to do with tomatoes; like many other recipes such as bread pudding, this was a way to use up stale bread. Medieval gazpacho recipes are Most gazpacho recipes today don’t even have any bread in them, and are just basically cold tomato soup. This gazpacho is an old-fashioned bread soup, with vegetables in it. But it’s still a cold soup, perfect for a hot summer day.

How to make gazpacho:

Take a half a loaf of stale bread and break it up into little chunks: there should be 2-3 cups. Process into crumbs in the food processor with 1/4 cup of olive oil, 1/4 cup of vinegar, and 1/4 cup of water. Slowly add (working in batches if necessary) one cucumber, one green pepper or zucchini, three whole tomatoes, two cloves of garlic, one onion, 1 teaspoon each of kosher salt, black pepper, oregano, mint, and basil. Process until it’s all pretty smooth. Turn into a serving bowl and mix if you had to do it in batches. It will be pretty thick; add water by the cupful until the consistency is that of a thick soup. Chill in the refrigerator at least one hour and serve. You may need to add more water after chilling. Serve with bread or crackers and a salad.

For another variation on gazpacho, try making salmorejo instead.

Vegetarian or vegan?

Gazpacho’s vegan, as long as the bread you use is vegan like this bread.

And will gazpacho keep?

You can eat gazpacho for a week afterwards, if you keep it in the refrigerator. But the garlic flavor will get stronger over time, and you may need to add more water.

Published by Karen Carr

Dr. Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram, Pinterest, or Facebook, or buy her book, Vandals to Visigoths.

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