About 5 years ago, I was living in the charming, authentic, and hottest city in Europe: Sevilla, Spain. The Spaniard life was made for me. The long strolls, the parks, the afternoon siestas, the bite-size tapas, the sangria…I could go on and on. One dish that I don’t particularly remember eating while I was there, although it originated in the Southern region of Spain that houses Sevilla, is gazpacho. I think I first heard about it from my Grandma. But, it comes as no surprise, given my affinity for Spanish culture, mixed with the Mediterranean heat, that I’ve been noticing gazpacho in Sevilla’s heat-smitten across-the -world relative, Austin, Texas. The cold tomato soup stems from a country that looks for ways to escape the intense summer heat (i.e. afternoon siesta + sangria), so it is only fitting that Austin embrace it too. And, I’m happy to say, Austin’s restaurants have picked up on this cool-down treat, but have you?
Here are three different non-traditional gazpachos that are happening on local menus right now! If you want to try them, I suggest you do it soon since they rotate off of the menu as a seasonal dish. (Gazpacho is typically red in color since the base is tomatoes. Here’s an example of a traditional recipe from my friend Kristi in case you get inspired to make some at home. Notice the differences in our local gazpacho trend.)
Golden Gazpacho- South Congress Cafe– The photo above is of my all-time favorite gazpacho. Isn’t the tilted bowl shape perfectly presenting it to us too? The consistency is smooth with a slight texture- the consistent (yes, I know) throughout the serving. It’s made with yellow bell peppers, yellow tomatoes, cucumbers and some other yummy ingredients. I tried to ask for the recipe once but the waitress who claimed she makes it at home “couldn’t remember” the ingredients. I think they didn’t want to reveal their magical recipe, but that’s okay because I’ll keep going back for more, and mine probably wouldn’t turn out as perfect either. There’s even a slight kick, which is just such an awesome combination with the cool cucumber contrast. Just go order it. That’s all there is to it.
Sweet Corn Gazapacho- Second Bar + Congress– This gazpacho is so interesting, with a unique combination of flavors and textures and a Southwestern flavor flare. The light, fluid, and creamy “broth” sits beneath a cylinder of corn, cucumbers, avocado, onions (I think), and thin and crispy julienned tortilla strips. It’s just delightful!
Mango Gazpacho- Blue Dahlia Bistro– Just as I sat down in the 100 degree heat to write this blog post while lunching on the patio at one of my local favorites, Blue Dahlia, the waitress mentioned the soups of the day: tomato gazpacho or mango gazpacho. Of course, I ordered the mango since I’d never had it before and it sounded light and summery! This one was very different from the other two. It was sweet, had a very thin base, with chunks of onions, mangos, and bell peppers. Definitely a light and refreshing treat on a hot summer day.