If the thought of this cold Spanish soup brings to mind images of watery, tasteless pureed vegetables, think again! The secret to really good gazpacho is to marinate well-ripe vegetables in vinegar, olive oil, and garlic. Amazing and refreshing summer food full of flavor. no cook!
Gazpacho – chilled Spanish soup
I tell people that gazpacho is like salsa in soup form. But instead of using tortilla chips for scooping, you can dip crispy bread slices into this delicious bowl.
I don’t even think it’s good for the body. Once you start you won’t want to stop. And what if you eat on the terrace on a hot summer day?
I want to be you! (Especially if there is a glass of cold wine next to you…)
What you need to make gazpacho
Bread is traditionally added to gazpacho to thicken the soup and to prevent leftovers from cracking if left overnight. I find the soup thick enough even without the bread. How about a split? Stir once or twice and it will return to its original state.
There is no bread in my recipe!
(Bonus: It means gluten-free and almost no carbs.)
- Tomatoes – As the primary ingredient in gazpacho, getting juicy ripe ones is key to great flavour here! Don’t be tempted to substitute with canned tomato. It just won’t be the same.
- Cucumber – One cucumber around 20cm/8″ long. I like to peel it to preserve the reddish colour of this soup and also it makes the soup smoother. But, you can leave it on it you wish. Extra nutrition! Just expect slightly more texture in your soup as it won’t puree fully.
- Red capsicum / bell pepper – Traditionally. Spanish gazpacho is more frequently made with green rather than red capsicum / bell pepper. I like to use red for colour consistency and also because red capsicum is slightly sweeter than green (which is actually just un-ripened red capsicum!).
- Red onion – You’ll only need about 1/4 of a red onion as we need 1/4 cup of chopped red onion. I don’t usually measure red onion in cups but in this no-cook soup, if you use too much then it’s too onion-y. And if you don’t use enough, you lack the fresh zing.So – chop. Then measure 1/4 cup!
- Garlic – Gazpacho is not gazpacho without the delicious flavour garlic brings to it!
- Sherry vinegar – This is the vinegar that is traditionally used in gazpacho. It’s made from sherry and has more flavour than common plain white vinegar. Quality – The more you pay, the better the quality. The vinegar will be aged which means it has more flavour than economical brands. Such is the secret of why simple salads at fine dining restaurants are so good! Use what suits your budget. I reserve my 25 year Pedro Ximenez Sherry Vinegar for special occasion salads. I use Chef’s Choice or Moro for everyday purposes and recipe development.Substitute with white wine vinegar, red wine vinegar or champagne vinegar. Apple cider vinegar will also work but a wee bit sharper.
- Extra virgin olive oil – As with the sherry vinegar, the more you pay, the better the quality. Lomondo is an Australian extra virgin olive oil which I use as my “good olive oil”, though I always enjoy trying local varieties wherever I travel.
- Salt and pepper – The only seasoning required for this wonderful refreshing dish!
How to make gazpacho
Authenticity Note: Pickling vegetables is not a necessary step in traditional gazpacho recipes. But since it enhances flavor, it’s a recommended step, especially if you’re using economical vinegar, or if your tomatoes aren’t fresh (not fresh organic), stupidly ripe and sweet. These will be the tomatoes sold in Australian grocery stores every day, even in midsummer.
- Marinate – Toss all the vegetables with the garlic, vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. Then set aside to marinate, preferably overnight (12 hours up to 24 hours) or at least 3 hours. This allows the flavours to meld together more and the vinegar flavour smooths out as well. It really does make a noticeable difference. However, if you don’t have time, it’s fine! Just proceed to the next step immediately. I do like to add an extra glug of olive oil when I don’t marinate, just to compensate.
- Blitz! Transfer everything into a blender and puree until smooth. If you have a powerful one like a Vitamix or Blendtech then it will only take around 45 seconds on speed 7 or so. If yours is not as powerful then it may take a little longer. Handheld blender stick also works but takes a little longer. Use a tall jug and work in batches, if need be. A food processor will get 90% of the way there but I find it doesn’t make it quite as smooth. Smoothness note – If you’d like yours 100% smooth and thinner, more like a drink than a soup, then pass it through a very fine mesh or food mill. Discard the solids. I like mine straight out of the blender which has a bit of texture to it, not 100% smooth, and a bit thick. Reminds me I’m eating a meal, not sipping a drink!
- Rest – Pour the soup into a bowl and let it rest for 15 minutes. This allows the aeration incorporated into the soup when you blended it to settle a bit (so you don’t feel like you’re eating a mouthful of foam) and the colour will change slightly from orange to a slightly darker orange. Wait, gazpacho isn’t red? Nope, it’s actually not! It’s more of a burnt orange colour.
- Serve – Ladle into bowls and serve. Sometimes I top with little diced cubes of cucumber, for colour / texture / healthy garnish. I always finish with a swish of olive oil and pinch of pepper.I like to serve gazpacho with crusty white bread for dunking. Both for the eating experience, and to bulk out the meal.
This gazpacho is absolutely delicious. It is not shared as a diet food such as low carb, low calorie, low sugar, and high nutrition.
It’s just really good food. Regular readers know I’m not a healthy eating website. We won’t sacrifice taste for calorie savings. I can’t. I love food so much!