- Food: Gazpacho
- Writer: Nicolas Wilson
- Content-Type: Food Blog
Gazpacho! Andalusia, Spain’s chilled, raw tomato and vegetable soup. Have you ever had it? Do you like it? Do you despise it? I haven’t always been a fan of gazpacho, but when done correctly, it can be delicious.
Gazpacho, at its best, is very refreshing and full of summer flavors straight from the garden. Gazpacho, at its worst, tastes like chunky cold salsa or thin tomato juice, neither of which I prefer.
I wanted a texture that was somewhere in the middle of the two, with a far better flavor. I realized that blending half of the components into creamy oblivion is the key.
Then add the remaining half and blitz until they’re all broken up into tiny pieces. You’ll have a lovely, thick base with little bits of tomato, cucumber, and pepper for added interest.
I added a Vidalia onion to the mix to boost the flavor even further. Vidalias are grown only in 20 designated counties in South Georgia; they are not grown in Spain.
The mellow, sweet flavor comes from the warm winters and low sulfur soil, and it works well in everything from onion dip to dessert. Dessert, of course!
Because Vidalia onions are only available in the spring and summer (from April to August), they appeared ideal for gazpacho.
Other forms of raw onion are too harsh to let the other tastes show through in gazpacho, which is a raw soup. This is the gazpacho of your dreams, created with red, luscious, juicy summer tomatoes.
Ingredients for Gazpacho
This recipe has a traditional gazpacho flavor. You’ll need the following ingredients to prepare it:
- Tomatoes, ripe red: Tomatoes are the foundation of this raw soup. We don’t need to add any liquid before blending the components together because tomatoes have so much moisture. We’ll even save aside some fresh tomato seeds to use as garnish (they’re very gorgeous).
- Sweet yellow onion: Onions are savory and sweet at the same time. If the onion flavor seems overbearing right out of the blender, don’t worry. As the soup cools in the fridge, it becomes more mellow.
- Cucumber: A layer of fresh flavor is added with the addition of cucumber.
- Red bell pepper: Gazpacho isn’t complete without this crisp, sweet pepper. You can use an orange or yellow bell pepper instead of a red.
- Fresh basil enhances the flavor of this soup, making it even more summery and tempting.
- You’ll only need one huge clove of garlic.
- Extra-virgin olive oil is always the better option.
- A modest drop of sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar brings this soup to life.
Tips for Making the Best Gazpacho
Remove the bread from the equation.
White bread is used in traditional gazpacho for the body, but I found that it diluted the flavor. After that, I didn’t like filtering the gazpacho through a fine sieve.
No sieve is necessary when blending the fruit with olive oil to create a thick, creamy emulsion with plenty of substance.
As a result, thanks to the unfiltered vegetables, this simple gazpacho recipe is gluten-free and high in fiber.
Options for blending
Blend everything at once if you’re in a hurry or want a smooth gazpacho (see the recipe notes for details on this shortcut).
I want my gazpacho to have some texture to it. That’s why, rather than mixing everything at once, the recipe directs you to blitz some of the components into the soup for a few seconds.
You could just slightly incorporate chunky gazpacho into the soup if you like chunky gazpacho.
Gazpacho requires some chilling time.
A couple of hours in the refrigerator is required for all good gazpachos. This allows the flavors to fully develop and the soup to chill.
Chop some of the ingredients and set them aside for garnishing the soup later (see steps 1 and 2). It’s an extra step, but it’s well worth it if you want the gorgeous gazpacho seen here.
|Time to Prepare: 25 minutes (plus 2 hours of chill time)
Cooking Time: 0 minutes
Time spent: 25 minutes
Serving: 4 servings
This recipe for gazpacho is fantastic! It’s a cool summer soup that’s excellent for using up your garden tomatoes and cucumbers. Make it ahead of time so that the soup may chill for at least 2 hours. The recipe makes 5 cups, which is enough for 4 serves.
- 2 ½ pounds ripe red tomatoes (about 4 large or 9 small)
- 1 small Vidalia or sweet yellow onion (½ pound), peeled and cut into rough 1″ chunks
- 1 small cucumber (½ pound), peeled and seeded
- 1 medium red bell pepper, cored and seeded
- ¼ cup fresh basil leaves, plus extra for garnish
- 1 large garlic clove, peeled
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
- ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Place your blender bowl, a medium serving bowl, and a small bowl on the counter to prepare your vegetables. Cut the tomatoes into rough 1′′ chunks after removing the cores. Set aside roughly a quarter cup of the juicy tomato seeds in a small bowl (we’ll use them as a garnish later). Half of the tomato chunks should go into the blender, while the other half should go into the serving bowl. In a blender, combine all of the onion bits.
- Remove roughly a quarter of the cucumber. Place that piece in the small bowl after finely chopping it. The remaining cucumber should be sliced into rough 1′′ chunks and divided between the blender and the serving bowl. Remove approximately a quarter of the bell pepper, finely chop it, and place it in the small bowl. The remaining bell pepper should be sliced into rough 1′′ chunks and divided between the blender and the serving bowl.
- Add the basil, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, salt, and around 10 twists of black pepper to the blender. Secure the lid and blend, first on low and gradually increasing to high speed, for about 2 minutes, or until the mixture is entirely smooth.
- Fill the blender halfway with the contents of the serving bowl (the remaining tomato, cucumber, and bell pepper chunks). Place the cover on the blender and process for 10 to 20 seconds, or until the ingredients are broken up into small bits. Stop here if you like smaller bits, or blend a little longer if you prefer larger ones.
- Toss the garnishes in a small bowl with a touch of salt, whisk, and keep in the fridge. Allow at least 2 hours, and up to 24 hours, for the soup to chill.
- Taste before serving and season with more salt (I occasionally add another 14 tsp) and/or black pepper if needed. To serve, divide the soup among small dishes or cups and top with the cucumber and bell pepper that has been set aside. Serve with a small sprinkle of pepper and a few tiny or broken basil leaves on top. Covered and refrigerated leftover servings store nicely for 3 to 4 days.
- MAKE IT FAST (SHORTCUT/SMOOTH SOUP): Simply cut the tomato, onion, cucumber, and bell pepper into 1′′ chunk, combine with the rest ingredients in a blender, and process until smooth. Chill for at least 2 hours, taste, and season with extra salt or pepper if necessary. Garnish with black pepper and a few torn basil leaves.