|Alternative names||Torta gazpachera, gaspacho oranais|
|Type||Torta or flatbread|
|Place of origin||Spain|
|Main ingredients||Wheat flour|
Torta de gazpacho is a type of torta, or flat bread, used to prepare a dish called gazpacho or gazpacho manchego in La Mancha and Southeast Spain, including Murcia and parts of the autonomous community of Valencia.
A torta de gazpacho, also known as torta de pastor, is a flat and round bread made with wheat flour without yeast. Along with the gachas the tortas de gazpacho are a very ancient Iberian staple food preparation. Traditionally Manchega women used to bake their own tortas at home, but now a commercial type of torta de gazpacho is produced in La Roda under the name "torta cenceña".
To prepare gazpachos the flat bread is torn or cut into small pieces and mixed with a somewhat liquid stew in order to prepare a warm dish. This dish originated in the hearty food shepherds needed when they came back home on cold winter nights. It is traditional to serve this dish by placing the pan or large plate in the middle and all the guests sitting around eating from it. Sometimes instead of the plate the gazpacho is poured on a very large flat bread.
This type of gazpacho should not be confused with the Andalusian cold soup also called gazpacho.
There are ways of preparing torta de gazpacho-based dishes without meat. In ancient times when meat or game was scarce, gazpachos were prepared with a vegetable stew. The main ingredient of the stew were seasonal vegetables, like zucchini, bell pepper and eggplant, especially in the comarcas of the Region of Murcia. In La Mancha, a much less fertile region, bladder campion (Silene vulgaris) leaves were used for the stew instead of the meat.
Traditionally the vegetarian gazpachos were considered inferior fare, only to be eaten in difficult times or by the poor people. Therefore, they were known as gazpachos viudos (widowed gazpachos); the reference to a widower originating in the fact that an essential ingredient was missing. Presently spinach may be used instead of the bladder campion leaves.