Empress’s gazpacho: Thus a ruler helped the Andalusian soup become world famous

summer soup
Gazpacho: This empress made a great cold vegetable soup

Picture of Eugenie de Montijo

Empress Eugénie loved the cold summer soup and made it socially acceptable in the Spanish upper class.

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For centuries gazpacho has been an Andalusian secret. Governor had to come together to introduce the smooth pioneer to the upper class. After that, the whole world should taste it.

Cold summer soups, called gazpacho, are a classic of Andalusian cuisine. Served cold and refreshing, vegetable soup is one of the best meals for hot summer days. It is mainly because of lady that the Andalusian delicacy is known in many parts of the world today.

According to legend, it was the Spanish Empress Eugénie de Montijo who, in the 19th century, struck the drum for her favorite and stomach dish so vigorously that the whole country soon became addicted to the dish. Eugénie, wife of Napoleon III and the last monarch to rule France, was herself a child of Andalusia. Born in Granada, the Spaniard knew and loved the regional delicacies.

From Andalusia to the world

Including the gazpacho. The vegetable soup, served cold, was one of the ruler’s favorite dishes, even as she wandered through the palaces away from her homeland. And instead of forgetting the dishes of her origin, she began to make them socially acceptable in the upper classes of society. The rest is history. It shouldn’t be long before the rest of the population tastes it too. Because unlike most dishes of the upper class, the common foot soldiers were also able to put gazpacho on their plates at home. The ingredients were cheap and the preparation easy.

Many years later, it was the Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar who once again brought the Andalusian specialty to the world stage. In his tragic comedy “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown” nominated for an Oscar, it is the gazpacho who comes in first place. Because the soup is mixed with sleeping pills, which gradually removes the main actors from the game. With the success of the film, Gazpacho also gained world fame.

Andalusian style summer tomato soup

Cool enjoyment: The summer soup gazpacho is perfect for a bit of hunger on hot days.

© olga_prava / Getty Images

The Beginnings of Gazpacho

Tomatoes are an integral part of an authentic gazpacho. Originally, however, they had no place in the soup. Because the history of gazpacho goes back much further than the history of the tomato on the European continent. It was the Moors who first put the dish on the plate in Andalusia, probably as early as the first millennium AD. However, at the time it was a completely different soup based on hard bread crumbs.

Today’s Andalusian flagship has long been considered a typical meal of the poor. Only when America was discovered did the nutritional possibilities become more diverse and the tomato began its triumphant advance in Europe that the once simple diet shifted to what is today known as Gazpacho Andalusian. And that, strictly speaking, is nothing more than chilled vegetable smoothie.


Andalusian gazpacho – how it works

The best-known variant of the summer soup, which probably originated in the early 19th century, can be prepared in just a few simple steps. Tomatoes are the basic essence. The soup is spiced with cucumbers and onions, among other things. For four servings you will need:

500 grams of tomatoes
2 peppers (red and green)
1 cucumber
1 strain
4 garlic cloves
4 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons cherry vinegar
3 slices of white bread
salt and pepper

First, the white bread is roughly plucked and reserved in a bowl with some water for about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, chop the vegetables and clean them in a blender. Add the soaked bread and olive oil. Depending on the desired consistency, add water. Then season with spices and vinegar. Gazpacho should be served very cold. The soup must therefore be cooled in the refrigerator for at least 60 minutes before it is served.

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