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david cooks dinner, gather food studio, personal chef, colorado springs

soup: /so͞op/, \ süp \ ; noun

a liquid food especially with a meat, fish, or vegetable stock as a base and often containing pieces of solid food

Middle English soupe, from Anglo-French supe sop, soup, of Germanic origin.

According to the definition above, the recipes this week are NOT soup. WTH?

The Andalusia region in Spain is where cold soups are most produced and consumed, as this is where the majority of the Spanish cold soups were invented. Because temperatures can reach up to 115º F, farmers and field workers needed to find nourishment and refreshment at the same time.

My favorite cold soups; Gazpacho, Salmorejo and Ajo Blanco, all have roots dating back to the Moorish occupation of Spain (1000AD-1500AD) and yet have long been enjoyed since the Spaniards reclaimed their country. Gazpacho and other cold soups spread throughout the country and even abroad, but it will always be Andalusia who can claim their creation.

Since soups are generally thought of as cold-weather dishes, and cold soup is usually considered in need of a heat-up. It’s true that there’s something comforting about a hot bowl of steamy soup, but it’s a shame to relegate an entire delicious food group (yes, I said food group) to just one season.

Luckily, you don’t have to...

Traditional cold Spanish soups are perfect for summer, and I’ve done the tough job of sampling them for you in the name of research. Healthy, easy to make and, most importantly, super tasty, you’re going to love eating these cold soup recipes during the hot months of the year.

Ajo Blanco

4 oz day old crusty bread

2 apples, peeled and core removed

2 cloves garlic

16 oz. green grapes, halved + a couple more, sliced for garnish

1 c. toasted slivered almonds

2/3 c. half and half

1 c. extra virgin olive oil

¼ c. red wine vinegar

Place all ingredients in a food processor and puree on high until very smooth. Strain with a fine strainer to remove small bits. Refrigerate overnight. Garnish each bowl with sliced grapes, and some more olive oil.

Salmorejo

4 oz crusty day old bread, cubed– plus 2 C. water with 1 T. salt

1 ¼ # tomato petals, seeds and insides removed. Weight is clean petals only

¼ c. diced onion

¼ c. sherry vinegar

1/3 c. extra virgin olive oil

2 cloves garlic

1-2 T. lemon juice

Black pepper to taste

Salt to taste

Place the cubed bread in a bowl with the 2 cups of salted water and let hydrate for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, squeeze out the water 90% of the water from the bread and place in a food processor with all of the other ingredients. Puree until very smooth. Refrigerate overnight. Garnish with lemon balm and more extra virgin olive oil.

Traditional Red Gazpacho

2 slices stale crusty bread, crusts removed, roughly chopped

1 C. water

2 # ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped

1cucumber, peeled and chopped

1red bell pepper, cored and roughly chopped

1clove garlic, peeled and chopped

½ spanish onion, roughly chopped

2 T. sherry vinegar

½ C. extra virgin olive oil

pinch of cumin, to taste

pinch of dry oregano, to taste

pinch of cayenne pepper, to taste

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Soak the bread in the water for 30 minutes; squeeze out excess water. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and puree until smooth. Refrigerate overnight.

White Gazpacho

2 slices white sandwich bread, crust removed

1 C. water

2 small English cucumbers, peeled and chopped

1 C. seedless green grapes, plus more for garnish

1/3 C. blanched, slivered almonds

1/3 C. extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped

2 tsp. sherry vinegar, plus more as needed

1 tsp. salt

Soak the bread in the water for 15 minutes. Add all ingredients to a food processor and puree until smooth. Refrigerate overnight.