Favorite Gazpacho Recipe : Cold Summer Soup
Gazpacho soup – Ripe Roma tomatoes, fresh herbs, and robust garden vegetables explode in this cold soup with a bright, tangy flavor. Try gazpacho for lunch, dinner, or as an appetizer. Either way, it really hits the spot on a hot day!
Looking for some “cool” summer recipes for warm summer days? Here are some of our favorites: starting with an Aperol Spritz or my newest addiction, a Pineapple Jalapeno Margarita. While enjoying a refreshing beverage, grill some Corn On The Cob for a Fresh Roasted Corn & Black Bean Salad or a Grilled Corn And Zucchini Salad to serve with a cold Spanish soup.
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Why You’ll Love This Gazpacho Soup Without Bread
Get ready to love a delicious and healthy, lower-carb variation of an authentic gazpacho recipe (without bread) from Andalusia, Spain.
- Summer gazpacho is fresh, healthy, and a delicious way to revitalize on a warm day.
- Serve Spanish cold soup as a drink, snack, meal, or a “liquid salad.”
- This gazpacho soup recipe is a great way to keep carb counts down for people with dietary restrictions.
- Cold soup makes a delightful surprise at a dinner party and an elegant presentation when garnished and served in a cocktail glass.*
- Variations are unlimited when making a recipe for gazpacho.
- No wasted veggies! Use extras from preparing summer soup for garnish.
*Plating and presentation can take a meal or drink to the next level! Serving a summer gazpacho in stylish glass or stemware is a charming way to add artistry and festivity to a meal. Check out both types of glassware I envision at Smoked Rosemary Bourbon Sour and The Perfect Paloma Cocktail for an image.
(Oh, and trying those delicious recipes is a pure bonus!)
Ingredients For Summer Gazpacho Soup
It is an ideal cold soup recipe that blooms aromatically and intensifies in flavor as it matures over 2-3 days.
- Ripe Roma Tomatoes – perfect for a gazpacho summer soup because of its thick, low water content flesh and fewer seeds.
- Green Pepper – a meaty hollow fruit with no heat, a crisp bite, and a bitter tang. Feel free to substitute sweeter red, orange, or yellow bell pepper for the green.
- Celery – adds a crisp bite and fresh salty vegetal flavor to gazpacho soup.
- Cucumber – Peel and seed waxed garden variety cucumbers. Soft-skinned and small-seeded cucumbers, Persin/mini or English/hothouse, do not need to be peeled or seeded.
- Red Onion – sharp and sweet contrasting flavors add a keen nuanced layer to gazpacho recipes.
- Parsley & Chives – use fresh, vibrant herbs and save a few leaves for a gorgeous verdant garnish against the rich red of the cold soup.
- Garlic Clove – minced. Dread peeling garlic cloves? A garlic peeler is your newfound super gadget!
- Red Wine Vinegar – gives cold soup tartness, acidity, and zing. Use sherry vinegar for its complexity and a nod to authentic cold Spanish soup.
- Lemon Juice – fresh is best!
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil – of good quality, fruity, bitter, and pungent, makes or breaks a Spanish cold soup.
- Salt & Fresh Ground Pepper
- Worcestershire Sauce – adds umami and conveys a salty-sweet, savory flavor with a tangy finish.
- Tomato Juice – for convenience and ease, I like to use V8 juice; or you can use homemade, even better!
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Making Summer Gazpacho: A Liquid Salad
This gazpacho recipe is painless, although the prep work can take a bit of time, but little enough that you’ll know it is well worth it at the first taste of this cold summer soup!
Besides your prep tools and a quality veggie wash, all you need is a blender, food processor, or immersion blender.
Step 1. Batch blend all the ingredients until reaching the desired consistency.
Step 2. Taste and season gazpacho with salt and pepper to your taste.
Step 3. Chill cold soup in a covered glass bowl or pitcher for four hours.
Step 4. Stir well and serve in your chilled dinner or glassware and garnish.*
*Garnishes can include everything your taste buds desire: homemade croutons, extra olive oil, herbs, extra veggies, avocado slices, parmesan crisps, toasted pignolias, toasted crostini, or bruschettini.
Where Did Cold Gazpacho Soup Come From?
If you’ve checked out a few cold Spanish soup recipes lately, you’ll have come across the standard info on the Andalusia region in Spain and authentic gazpacho soup. This region is also well known for one of the oldest horse breeds, the gorgeous pure Spanish Andalusian.
Many historians argue that Spanish cold soup originates from Islamic Spain (711-1492 A.D.). Others, not so much. The same base mixture for gazpacho developed as far back as the Roman Empire. It far predates Islamic Spain’s claim to fame!
Why Do Recipes For Gazpacho Contain Bread?
Because authentic gazpacho recipes were initially made with bread soaked in water or vinegar. It’s purported that Roman soldiers made a gruel/soup/paste from their rations of bread, garlic, salt, olive oil, and vinegar.
The Islamic version also had the same ingredients but eventually included the addition of tomatoes and green pepper. Traditionally authentic cold Spanish soup is prepared in a large wooden bowl or trough called a dornillo.
Gazpacho critics claim that bread provides creamy fullness to the gazpacho and rounds out the flavor. You have to admit it was an ingenious way to make stale bread palatable!
Fresh gazpacho, including tomatoes and peppers as we know it today, was thanks to none other than Chris Columbus. He brought the fruits to Seville, Spain, from the New World.
Summer Soup Substitutions & Additions, Notes, And Tips
Variations of gazpacho soup recipes will contain soaked bread and a plethora of fresh vegetables, including melons and certain fruits, and fresh herbs for a cool, refreshing summer gazpacho.
Summer Gazpacho Substitutions & Additions
- Add fruit!! Watermelon, cantaloupe, strawberries, and honeydew with fresh mint are all wonderful in gazpacho.
- When trying to recreate an authentic Spanish cold soup flavor profile, choose a good sherry vinegar over red wine vinegar.
- Substitute Balsamic vinegar for an added touch of sweetness and a more intense tang.
- Try mixing in the olive oil and vinegar after the other ingredients have been blended together for more complex layers.
- Add a dollop of sour cream, greek yogurt, or guacamole to gazpacho as a garnish and for a creamier cold soup.
- Serve with Savory Cheese Crisps or Toasted Pita Chips.
- You can spice gazpacho up with a little “south of the border” flavor by adding cilantro, jalapeno, cumin, and cheese shreds.
Notes & Tips For Gazpacho Soup
- Gazpacho needs to spend a few hours in the refrigerator. This allows the flavors to develop fully, and the soup time to chill completely.
- If you wish to core and deseed tomatoes. Simply scoop out and discard the seeds and any tough white core.
- Using English or mini cucumbers cuts down on prep time as there is no need to seed or peel the delicate skinned cukes.
- If using garden cucumbers, cut the stem end off and milk the cucumber to reduce the cucurbitacin (nasty bitter plant compound). Salting the cucumber will also help to lessen the bitterness.
- Salting diced tomatoes for 30 minutes will break down the cell walls and retain the released juice because it has many flavor compounds forced from the fruit.
- Traditional garnishes: Drizzled olive oil, homemade croutons, chopped bell pepper, cucumbers, chopped hard-boiled egg, chiffonade fresh basil, or chopped fresh chives.
- Prepared gazpacho becomes more complex and flavorful over time, so it’s even better on the 2nd and 3rd days.
- If you are partial to the authentic gazpacho recipes, you can add 2-3 slices of soaked bread, squeeze excess water, and blend them into the summer soup.
Gazpacho Soup FAQs
Why is gazpacho served cold?
The cold soup is designed to help cool you down in hot weather. Gazpacho can be served warm or hot but the refreshing dish is meant to be enjoyed cold.
Can you make gazpacho with canned (store) tomatoes?
Yes, you can. Stick with a brand you trust and are willing to eat uncooked and enjoy the flavor.
Why is there bread in some gazpacho recipes?
Gazpacho originated as a cold soup made from soaked stale bread, salt, and garlic worked into a paste; then, the oil and vinegar were beaten into the mixture.
According to authentic cold Spanish soup recipes and a renowned cooking expert, Anya von Bremzen, “A gazpacho is not a gazpacho without bread.”
I disagree! My cold soup is a bright, tangy, full-bodied gazpacho recipe with the added umami of Worcestershire sauce but without bread.
Do I have to peel Roma tomatoes for summer gazpacho?
No, not at all. If you decide it is important to peel tomatoes for gazpacho, the quickest way is to blanch them. Make a small “x” on the bottom of the tomato, lower it into boiling water for three minutes, then plunge it into an ice bath for three minutes, drain, and peel.
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- 1 cup finely chopped ripe Roma tomatoes
- 1/2 cup finely chopped green pepper, cored
- 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
- 1/2 cup finely chopped cucumber, peeled and seeded
- 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
- 1-2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 2 tablespoons fresh chives
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2-3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- 1/2 teastoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 cups tomato juice
- Combine all ingredients in a glass bowl. Use an immersion blender (or place in blender or food processor in batches) to the desired consistency (we like ours on the chunky side). Adjust seasonings, if needed, by adding more salt, and pepper to your taste.
- Place in a glass bowl or pitcher, cover, and chill thoroughly (at least 4 hours).
- Stir and serve in chilled cups/bowls. Top with homemade croutons, a drizzle of olive oil, fresh herbs, or chopped leftover ingredients (onion, cucumber, tomato).
- you can use an English cucumber, which does not need to be seeded
- traditional garnishes: A drizzle of olive oil, homemade croutons, chopped bell pepper, or cucumbers, chopped hard-boiled egg, chiffonade fresh basil, or chopped fresh chives.
- The soup becomes more complex and flavorful over time, so it's even better on days 2 and 3!
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 76Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 587mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 1gSugar: 5gProtein: 2g
Nutrition information is estimated based on the ingredients and cooking instructions as described in each recipe and is intended to be used for informational purposes only. Please note that nutrition details may vary based on methods of preparation, origin, and freshness of ingredients used and are just estimates. We encourage, especially if these numbers are important to you, to calculate these on your own for most accurate results.