Gazpacho Recipe (Smooth or Chunky Chilled Tomato Soup). This recipe for Italian gazpacho, which can be smooth or chunky, is a chilled, no-cook tomato soup that is light and refreshing for the hot summer months. Everything I’ve learned about how to make the best authentic, fresh tomato gazpacho recipe while living in Spain, and it only takes 15 minutes!
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WHAT IS GAZPACHO?
Joyce and my friend Gail were both shocked when I told them a few weeks ago that I’d never had Italian gazpacho. Gazpacho comes from the south of Spain and Portugal, where it gets as hot as it does in California in the summer. When the fresh vegetables and tomatoes are blended, sometimes bread is added to make the soup thicker. I didn’t know this at the time, but you’ll see what I mean below.
Now that fresh tomato season has finally come back, it’s time to start making Italian gazpacho again.
I’ve liked this Spanish tomato soup, which is served chilled and is nice and light, for years. But since we moved to Barcelona, we can’t stop thinking about gazpacho in the summer, especially after spending time in Andaluca, the place where gazpacho comes from.
Italian Gazpacho is sold just about everywhere in that part of the country, from restaurants to bars to coffee shops to every little super Mercado you pass. Even here in Barcelona, the closest grocery store has at least seven different kinds of bottled gazpacho that you can grab and go. Everyone’s favorite meal here in the summer is something light and cool. And when it’s made with the best, ripest fruits and vegetables of the season, oh boy, there’s nothing better.
Still, if you get the chance to go to Spain, you will find that the italian gazpacho in different parts of the country is a little different. Modern cooks also love to try out all kinds of non-traditional ingredients and changes. But even so, most people probably think of tomato gazpacho made in the Andaluz style when they think of this soup. So, if you’re in the mood for a bowl (or a glass with a straw, see below! ), here’s my favorite way to make gazpacho. It takes about 15 minutes to make and is quick and easy. I think it’s lo mejor, or the best.
SPANISH GAZPACHO INGREDIENTS:
Italian Gazpacho is the perfect summer soup because all of the fresh ingredients are in season and taste great, and you don’t need to heat up your stove or oven to make it! Just use a cutting board to prepare your ingredients. After that, your blender or food processor will take over. For this recipe for homemade gazpacho, you’ll need:
- Tomatoes: Traditional Italian gazpacho uses Roma tomatoes or what we call “branch tomatoes” in Spain, which are medium-sized, round, soft-skinned tomatoes on the vine. But really, you can use any fresh, ripe, juicy tomatoes. You don’t have to peel your tomatoes for gazpacho, but you should remove the cores (scoop out the white flesh and seeds).
- Cucumber: In Spain, Persian or Kirby cucumbers that are 6 inches long and have been peeled and seeded are most often used. But most of the time, I just throw in half of an English cucumber. Whichever you prefer!
- Green bell pepper: Some of my Spanish friends are sure that authentic Spanish gazpacho can’t be made without green bell peppers. But I think you can use any color of bell pepper you have on hand.
- Bread: White bread that has been left over is the key to authentic gazpacho’s texture. It helps to thicken the soup a little and round out the flavors. For the best texture, our friends here told us to throw away the crusts. Then, to help the bread blend well, you can either puree the gazpacho, then poke the slice of bread into the middle of the soup and let it sit there for 10 minutes to soften before pureeing it into the soup, or… run it under the faucet and soak it completely with water, then ring it out completely with your hands, then add the bread to the soup ingredients and puree.
- Onion red: Just half of a small peeled red onion.
- I use either two small cloves of garlic or one large clove.
- Olive oil: Traditional gazpachos often have a lot of olive oil in them. But in Spain, they often use less oil these days to make the soup a little bit healthier. This recipe just uses 3 tablespoons.
- Vinegar from sherry: Sherry is famous in Andaluca. Sherry vinegar (vinagre de Jerez), which is always used to make Italian gazpacho in Spain, is another ingredient. Still, you can use red wine vinegar if you can’t find sherry vinegar at your grocery store.
- Ground cumin: One of our friends in Andaluca showed me how to make the best gazpacho by adding cumin, which is a common ingredient in the south of Spain because it is close to Morocco. I love how it gives this recipe a hint of earthiness.
- Sea salt and black pepper: Essentials!
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HOW TO MAKE GAZPACHO:
To make gazpacho soup at home, just:
- Puree the soup. Put all of the Italian gazpacho ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend for 1 minute, or until the soup is the consistency you want. (I love how smooth mine are.)
- Chill: Put the soup in a container with a lid and put it in the fridge for 4 hours, or until it is completely cold.
- Serve: Then, serve the soup with your favorite toppings and nice and cold.
AZPACHO SOUP TOPPINGS:
I think a simple pureed soup like gazpachos needs toppings. I like to put in gazpacho any combination of the following:
- Croutons are easy to make at home, and you can use any leftover bread you have on hand.
- Some of our favorite fresh herbs are basil, thyme, oregano, rosemary, and/or chives.
- Black pepper that has been freshly cracked is always a must in my book.
- Olive oil is: In Spain, it is customary to add a little more drizzle on top.
- Cream: If you want a creamier soup, a drizzle of cream (or sour cream) can be nice.
- Ham from Spain and diced hard-boiled eggs: These toppings are traditional for salmorejo, but people in the south of Spain also like to put them on gazpacho.
Or, of course, most people just sprinkle a few of the chopped gazpacho vegetables on top (such as tomato, green pepper, onion or cucumber). If it sounds good to you, do it!
HOW TO SERVE GAZPACHO:
You can put gazpacho in a bowl or a mug and top it with whatever you want. Or, to keep things very simple, many places in Spain just serve gazpacho over ice in glasses with straws, which I really like.
When you serve gazpacho, you need to remember that it needs to be very cold. So plan to mix up the recipe a few hours before serving so that it has enough time to cool in the fridge before your meal.
Even though the recipe below is for real tomato gazpacho, there are a million other ways to make gazpacho your own. You could:
- Add some fruit. In Spain, watermelon, cantaloupe, and strawberries are often added to red gazpacho. (Here is my watermelon gazpacho recipe.)
- You can also add vegetables like beets, zucchini, and corn.
- Add more herbs: Feel free to add basil, rosemary, thyme, or chives, or any other fresh herbs that sound good.
- Spice it up. This is not a common thing to do with gazpacho in Spain, where people tend to avoid heat in their food. But I love giving this recipe an extra kick by adding a few slices of jalapeo or serrano.
INGREDIENTS YOU’LL NEED:
- 2 pounds of ripe Roma tomatoes, cut in half and cored* 1 small (1/2 lb) cucumber, peeled and seeded* 1 medium green bell pepper, cored
- 1/2 small peeled red onion 2 small or 1 large peeled garlic cloves
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Sherry vinegar, 2 tablespoons
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper that has just been cracked
- 1/2 teaspoon of cumin powder
- 1 thick piece of white bread, soaked and with the crusts cut off.
- Homemade croutons, chopped fresh herbs, a drizzle of olive oil, or any leftover chopped Italian gazpacho ingredients can be used as garnishes.
- Purée. Use a blender or food processor to mix all of the ingredients together. Blend for 1 minute, or until the soup is the consistency you want.
- Season. Taste it and add more salt, pepper, or cumin if you think it needs it.
- Chill. Put in the fridge in an airtight container for 3–4 hours, or until it is completely cold.
- Serve. Serve cold, with the garnishes you like.
To core the tomatoes, just scoop out the seeds and any tough white cores and throw them away.
Cucumber: You can also just add half of an English cucumber, which doesn’t need to be seeded.
Most of the time, we just use a baguette for bread. To soak your bread with water, I suggest running it under the sink for a few seconds. Then squeeze out the extra water and add the bread to the blender or food processor.
How to store soup: You can put leftover soup in a food storage container and put it in the fridge for up to 3 days or freeze it for up to 3 months.Print
FAQs About Italian Gazpacho
What country makes gazpacho soup?
Gazpacho is a cold soup from Spain, especially Andalusia. People asked for an image of Italian gazpacho. The Greeks and Romans wrote about it, but tomatoes and green peppers, two of the main ingredients in the modern version, did not come to Spain until the 16th century from the New World.
Does Italy eat gazpacho?
This soup is what I call “Gazpacho Italian Style.” Why? Because it has tomatoes, roasted peppers, garlic, olive oil, and cucumbers, which are all typical Italian ingredients. None of these ingredients are unique to Italy, but hey, this blog is called Italian Food Made Simple.
Tell me something interesting about gazpacho.
Gazpacho comes from the Arabic word for “soaked bread,” from which the name comes. Note that tomatoes and peppers, two of the main ingredients, were not around until the New World was found. Gazpacho Day takes place on December 6. Gazpacho should be served cool, but not frozen.
What are the parts of gazpacho?
Gazpacho is a traditional Spanish cold soup that is great for hot summer days. It is usually made with fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, and garlic.
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