Recipes get bastardized all the time, but there ought to be some reverence for the national dish—at least that’s what Ximena Maier, the author and illustrator behind the charming food blog Lobstersquad, thinks. It’s summer in Spain, signified by the making of gazpacho. But when Ximena proceeds to investigate the soup, she is horrified.

“I started to write a gazpacho post,” she explains. “And what I found shocked me. It seems to me that the world is in a dazed and confused state where it comes to our national soup.” Ximena sets out to dispel any myths about this revered dish. After her explanation of gazpacho basics (must be blended, must be tomato-based), she branches out to include variations.

For everyone who likes to drink their gazpacho, whether straight from the jug in front of the open fridge (guilty as charged) or from a double-handled consommé cup at the table, there is someone who likes chunks in their food. Without bite, they say, there is nothing. And that’s ok, too. This is a very accommodating dish.

Next to come is a post on gazpacho tips and Ximena’s mother’s gazpacho recipe, so stay tuned.

For all the variations and additions, Ximena is a stickler about the basics—and can wax poetic over this chilled soup. “The platonic gazpacho is made by walking out to the kitchen garden on a summer morning, picking the tomatoes, cucumber and pepper, making it and then leaving it to chill until lunchtime.”

With summer swinging into gear, that sounds about perfect; just don’t roast those tomatoes or add avocado!

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