This mango gazpacho recipe makes gazpacho de mango, a chilled soup that’s perfect as a starter to a light summer meal. While found mostly on menus at creative contemporary restaurants in Catalunya and Mallorca, the cold soup may have originated in Spain’s mango growing region in Andalusia, home to the classic tomato-based gazpacho Andaluz.
My mango gazpacho recipe makes a cold summer soup that makes a great starter to a long languorous lunch in the sun on a sultry summer afternoon. It’s the first in a series of best mango recipes that use the last of the mango season harvest here in Cambodia, a series Lara introduced earlier this month. In keeping with the leisurely pace of the season, we’ll being sharing the rest of our mango recipes as the weather starts to heat up in the northern hemisphere over the coming spring and summer months.
Called gazpacho de mango in Spain where it originates, this mango gazpacho recipe comes from a family of chilled soups that are typically consumed on sizzling summer days. In fact, for most Spaniards and Catalans, gazpacho is a cold drink not a soup and has historically been served in a cup or glass rather than a bowl. At a creative contemporary restaurant in Barcelona or Madrid, it will probably come in a shot glass as an amuse-bouche.
Despite being so modern, gazpacho has a long history dating to the Ancient Greek and Roman Empires, when it’s said that soldiers carried stale bread, garlic and olive oil on expeditions, which they used a mortar and pestle to prepare a paste from which they made a soup. The term ‘gazpacho’ is thought to have derived from the Arabic word for ‘soaked bread’, which makes sense, although some Spanish cookbooks sometimes categorise gazpacho as a salad. (Perhaps in the same way that the Cambodian ‘outside the pot’ soup is sort of a salad?)
Two of the key ingredients of what we now know as gazpacho – tomatoes and green peppers – didn’t arrive on the Iberian Peninsula from the New World until the 16th century, however, so we can assume that it was in or after the mid- to late- 1500s (or later) that gazpacho evolved from its soupy-salad form into the dish that we know and love today – a chilled soup made from bread, garlic, olive oil tomatoes, vinegar, green peppers, cucumber, and onions. Who knows when the mango gazpacho recipe came about. We’re still trying to figure that one out.
Mango Gazpacho Recipe for Gazpacho de Mango, A Chilled Soup for Summer
While our mango gazpacho recipe might be new to you, you’re probably familiar with the classic tomato based gazpacho, which is what most people outside Spain would think of as traditional gazpacho – called gazpacho Andaluz to reflect its provenance, the Andalusian region of Southern Spain, however, there are numerous types of gazpacho or chilled soups found right across the region.
There’s the similar salmorejo from Córdoba, made with tomato, bread, garlic, and olive oil, with is topped with Jamón Ibérico or boiled eggs; arranque roteño, which is similar to salmorejo but a lot heartier, so much so that it’s used as a dip; and cojondongo, which is similar yet different again, made with tomato, green peppers, garlic, and parsley, which in some forms could even be called a salad. Gazpacho was not confined to Spain of course, it was found right across the Iberian Peninsula and around the Mediterranean.
There’s the white gazpacho, ajo blanco, which is made with bread, almonds, garlic, vinegar, olive oil, and green grapes, and is said to have originated in Morocco, and arjamolho, a Portuguese take on gazpacho with grilled sardines. Let’s not forget gazpacho Manchego, from La Mancha, Spain’s parched centre and southwest, one of the hottest parts of the country and yet this gazpacho, made with tomato, garlic, flat bread, mushrooms, and wild game, such as rabbit and fowl, is more like a stew and served warm.
If you’re now thinking that a mango gazpacho recipe doesn’t make sense within this tradition, don’t forget that the tomato is a fruit, which is why watermelon is often used as well as tomato. There is a tradition of fruit-based gazpachos and while you’ll most likely see mango gazpacho on menus at creative Catalan restaurants in Barcelona and Mallorca, it may well have originated in Spain’s mango growing region of Andalusia, home to gazpacho Andaluz.
We first tried watermelon gazpacho on Mallorca and it was life-changing. We’d been enjoying the Andalusian gazpacho all over Spain, since we first travelled to the country in the summer of 1999, particularly in its home in southern Spain. But it wasn’t until mid 2009 when a travel guidebook assignment took us to the Balearic Island, one of the Paisos Catalans or Catalan Countries, that we found ourselves slurping all kinds of cold gazpacho soups, including a watermelon and a mango gazpacho.
We’d rented an apartment in the old town of Palma de Mallorca, the island’s capital, and when we weren’t doing road trips around the island, researching and photographing our Mallorca guidebook, we were exploring the port city, particularly its notable restaurants. Restaurant Marc Fosh quickly became a favourite and we interviewed the chef and did a cooking class with him.
Fosh is an English chef who had relocated to Mallorca – he’s now lived there for some 25 years or so – and was the first chef on the island to really get creative with Mallorcan cuisine, reinterpreting classic dishes using seasonal produce from Mallorca and the mainland. One dish that really stood out was a watermelon gazpacho with seared tuna, prosciutto and crispy pancetta. It was a revelation. Another, a mango gazpacho with shrimp, was just as sublime.
In the years since that trip, we’ve spotted countless variations of mango gazpacho on the degustation menus of creative Catalan restaurants everywhere from Barcelona to the Penedes and Girona. They’ve all influenced this mango gazpacho recipe in some way.
Joan Roca of El Celler de Can Roca makes an incredibly rich tomato and cherry gazpacho. Lara and I interviewed the Roca brothers the day after dinner at the restaurant some years ago and again at the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival a few years ago. We talked about how cuisines evolve, how traditional cuisines incorporate new recipes and ingredients that historically weren’t from that place, but how over time they become part of that cuisine.
Joan Roca said that as a chef that excited him – those connections between cuisines and cultures – because ingredients, techniques and recipes of other culinary cultures enliven traditional dishes and evolve traditional cuisines. As an example, Joan mentioned gazpacho, now considered part of traditional Catalan cuisine, but which was introduced to the region by Andalusian immigrants in the 1960s.
Joan told us how, when he was a child, his family had lived in a working-class Andalusian immigrant neighbourhood, where everyone made gazpacho, so his mother did, too. Joan’s brother, pastry chef Jordi Roca, has a sweet and savoury tomato and strawberry gazpacho in his book The Desserts of Jordi Roca, made with tomatoes, strawberries, extra virgin olive oil, sugar, salt and pepper, aromatic herbs, and garnished with diced strawberries and tomatoes.
Mangoes are not grown in Catalunya. It’s not hot enough. Nor on Mallorca, as there isn’t enough rain, although watermelons are grown in the centre of the island. Mangoes are grown on the coast of Andalucia, in and around Malaga and Granada’s Costa Tropical. Also worth mentioning: it was the Spanish and Portuguese explorers and traders who took the mango from Asia to the Americas.
Notes of Making this Mango Gazpacho Recipe
When I was working on this mango gazpacho recipe I was thinking back to being in the souqs of Abu Dhabi and Dubai, and elsewhere in the Middle East, where fruit juice stalls would blend up frozen mangos to make an icy sweet mango smoothie so thick that we could barely suck it through a straw.
It was that memory and the fact that we had just made a Moroccan chickpea soup, a classic hummus and a grilled corn salad that motivated me to add some of the ingredients we’d use for those dishes – paprika, coriander root and chilli flakes – to this mango gazpacho recipe. It might not be traditional, but we’re dreaming of the Mediterranean and Middle East, taking on board Joan Roca’s advice, and we’re in Siem Reap, so we’re using what we have on hand.
This mango gazpacho recipe is a very straightforward recipe so there’s no need for additional notes. While we’re frequently encouraging you to use a mortar and pestle, you’ll definitely want to use a blender for this mango gazpacho recipe – especially if you’re making it in summer.
Mango Gazpacho Recipe
- 2 cups mangoes ripe and diced finely
- 1 tbsp olive oil extra-virgin
- 1 piece cucumber skin and seeds removed, chopped
- 2 pieces tomatoes cut into 1/4-inch dice cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 2 pieces red shallots cut into small dice
- 1 tsp paprika powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
- 2 tbsp coriander root finely chopped
- 1 tsp salt to taste
- 1 tsp pepper to taste
- 1 tsp chilli flakes to taste
- Process all ingredients in a blender or food processor until pureed.
- Transfer to a bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Do let us know if you make our mango gazpacho recipe as we’d love to know how it turns out for you. Feel free to leave a comment below or share a pic on social media.