Ask anyone what they think of gazpacho, and they’ll say it’s the chilled, more delicate cousin of boring old tomato soup. But it wasn’t always made that way: gazpacho originated in Andalusia, a region of Spain, probably way back in the Middle Ages. Back then, it was made of a combination of stale bread, oil, vinegar, and water pounded with a mortar and pestle. At that time, Spain was part of the Islamic world, so the name gazpacho comes from an Arabic word for “soaked bread.” Nowadays, the primary ingredients are tomatoes/tomato juice, bell peppers, and cucumber, which get transformed into soup via a blender (you can use a mortar and pestle if you want to be traditional about it). We know you’re hungry, so let’s celebrate National Gazpacho Day this December 6!
National Gazpacho Day Timeline
A popular origin theory for Gazpacho soup is the Ottoman Empire which was Arab based.
Christopher Columbus’ Voyage Staple
Christopher Columbus collected barrels full of Gazpacho soup on his voyages from Spain.
Adding tomatoes as a base and different peppers led to the evolution of the soup to its present state.
Blanche didn’t like it.
Popular sitcom character Blanche from The Golden Girls mentions the dish in one of the show’s episodes.
National Gazpacho Day Activities
Go to a Spanish restaurant.
If you want to leave your gazpacho celebrations in the hands of experts, hop on Yelp and find the best Spanish restaurant near you. You’re here for the gazpacho, but order some sherry (if you’re of age!) and boqueronesfor extra points. Close your eyes and pretend you’re in España.
Make your gazpacho.
You can make the soup at home if you’d rather have a more hands-on celebration. Head to the grocery store or farmers market to pick up the vegetables (remember to make sure they’re fresh!) and pull the oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper out of your pantry. Grab the blender, and you’re pretty much done! If you can, try to make the soup a few hours before you eat it: we find that the flavors develop more after they’ve had some time to sit for a while.
Host a tapas party
We love gazpacho, but we wouldn’t say it makes for a satisfying meal (unless you’re on a juice cleanse). Invite some friends to celebrate National Gazpacho Day and round out the menu with other delicious and easy Spanish classics like patatas bravas, gambas al ajillo, and tortilla española.
Why We Love National Gazpacho Day
It’s super easy but feels exotic.
Gazpacho isn’t something many people think of as an everyday recipe—it seems more suited for a special dinner party or a hot summer day. But it really couldn’t be simpler to make. Go out and buy some tomatoes, peppers, and cucumber. Everything else you need is in your pantry. Once you have the ingredients, it’s as simple as chopping them up and throwing them in a blender; that’s our kind of “cooking.”
There are tons of varieties.
The traditional recipe is a tomato-based soup, but people have come up with dozens of modifications over the years. Throw some spicy peppers in if you want to kick it up. If you’d prefer something green, omit the tomatoes and make a cucumber-avocado gazpacho. Craving soup that’s a bit sweeter? Watermelon gazpacho has become an incredibly popular variation.
It lets veggies shine.
Gazpacho couldn’t be easier to make, but the most difficult part is finding the freshest, most flavorful vegetables possible. Since you aren’t employing any heat cooking techniques to coax any flavor out of them, you have to be sure that the veggies are already in peak condition. No sad, tasteless tomatoes allowed!