Fire Roasted Gazpacho Negra (Black Gazpacho) is a chilled Spanish soup made with fire roasted tomatoes and peppers with fabulous smokey flavor!
it isn’t often I can say I’ve come up with an entirely new recipe…
anyone who’s ever searched on google knows that everything’s pretty much been done, especially when it comes to food. But guess what? I think I’ve come up with a new gazpacho that’s unique and super delish. This beautifully intense gazpacho is inspired by my Fire Roasted Salsa Negra, which is a classic Mexican salsa with a rich dark ‘black’ color thanks to fire roasting the veggies before processing. It occurred to me that I could give gazpacho the same delicious treatment and boy was I right!
This recipe is very forgiving, as are all gazpacho recipes…you can use any type of tomato you like, and the peppers are interchangeable too. I used several varieties because I love peppers and I can get so many different kinds here in Los Angeles, but you’ll be able to find substitutes at your regular supermarket. I encourage you to get creative and make this your own.
what you’ll need
Gazpacho is not complicated in terms of ingredients, but the variations are endless depending on how you choose them.
- peppers, both fresh and dried, mild and/or hot: Peppers can be a source of confusion because they come hot, sweet, dried, and canned. In areas of the country with larger Latino populations supermarkets stock all sorts of peppers, but in much of the country the pickings are sparse. I encourage you to use what you can find and don’t stress too much about getting the exact match to my ingredient list. The main thing is that I mixed sweet and hot peppers so my soup has a nice kick.
- onion and garlic
- olive oil ~ go for the best, extra virgin for flavor
- vinegar ~ I always have Spanish sherry vinegar on hand, and it’s perfect for gazpacho.
- salt and pepper
what are tomatillos?
You may not be familiar with these depending on where you live.
- Tomatillos (means little tomatoes) are fruits native to Mexico. They aren’t tomatoes, but they taste like unripe green ones.
- They come wrapped in papery thin skins, which are removed before eating or cooking.
- The flavor is bright and acidic, and goes well in gazpacho and salsa. They can be used cooked or raw.
- If you’ve had authentic salsa verde, you’ve had tomatillos.
roasting the veggies makes all the difference in this gazpacho
The difference between a classic gazpacho and this fire roasted gazpacho is that I’ve taken the main ingredients, the tomatoes and peppers, and roasted them under the broiler ( you can do it on the grill if you like) until they become blackened. But here’s the interesting part ~ I don’t remove those blackened skins, that all goes into the processor or blender to make this rich soup. The fire roasting adds color and lots of smokey flavor.
how to blacken veggies in the oven
- Arrange whole vegetables in a single layer on a foil wrapped baking sheet.
- Put them under the broiler and leave them until they get partially blackened on the surface.
- Carefully give them a turn and blacken on the other side.
- Your veggies are going to look like a hot mess when they come out from under the broiler, but boy are they flavorful!
- Remove stems and scrape out the seeds from the peppers. The tomatoes and tomatillos are ready as is.
- You can scrape off the blackened skins for some recipes, but for this soup I leave them intact.
Sometimes I’ll pack up my gazpacho in individual little jars for lunches or picnics. I also like to serve it this way for barbecues and other outdoor events where everybody can grab their own and go. If you really want to have fun with it you can set up a gazpacho bar and let everyone pick and choose their favorite toppings.
how to serve gazpacho ~
- The number one rule of gazpacho is to serve it ice cold. In Spain you’ll sometimes get a little bowl with an ice cube in the middle!
- Offer gazpacho in relatively small bowls or even little glasses. You want it to be refreshing, not overwhelming.
- Garnish the top with very finely diced or minced veggies like cucumber, peppers, or red onion.
- A bit of fresh green like mint, cilantro, or any other fresh herb is a nice finish.
- Drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil over your soup.
- Finish with a shower of fresh cracked black pepper.
- You can find some fun inspiration for topping ideas in my Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho post.
Fire Roasted Gazpacho (Black Gazpacho)
- food processor
- 3 dried guajillo chiles, your supermarket should carry them, just ask. Substitute another dried chile pepper if you like
- 4 large tomatoes, any variety
- 2 pasilla or poblano peppers
- 2 hot peppers such as jalapeños or cayenne
- 2 large Anaheim or Hatch chile peppers
- 6 tomatillos, papery skins peeled (don’t worry if you can’t find them)
- 1/2 small red onion
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Tbsp Sherry vinegar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup finely chopped cucumber
- 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
- 1/4 cup finely chopped yellow bell pepper
- fresh mint or cilantro leaves
- olive oil
- black pepper
- Cover the dried chiles with boiling water and let sit for 30 minutes to soften and rehydrate.
- Cover a baking sheet entirely with foil. Arrange the tomatoes, fresh peppers, and tomatillos on the pan, leaving space between each. Note: leave everything whole.
- Set your oven rack to the highest setting and broil the veggies on high for about 20 minutes, or until blackened. I give them a turn every 5 minutes or so.
- Drain the dried peppers and quickly blister tthem under the broiler. They will just take a minute or so, watch them carefully.
- Meanwhile process the onion and garlic in your food processor until the onion is finely minced. Put in a large mixing bowl and set aside.
- Put the blackened tomatoes and tomatillos into the food processor and pulse/process until they’re smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl if necessary. Pour into the bowl with the onions.
- Remove the stems and any large seeds or veins from all the peppers and chop them in quarters. Do not remove skin. Add to the processor, in batches if necessary, and pulse/process until smooth. Add to the mixing bowl with the tomatoes etc.
- Blend everything together in the bowl, and add the olive oil, vinegar, and salt. Add a little cold water if the mixture seems too thick. Give it a taste at this point and adjust the seasonings. Cover and chill until cold.
- When ready to serve, taste again to adjust the flavors, add a little more cold water if needed to thin it out. Serve in small bowls topped with the toppings and a little drizzle of oil.
- Gazpacho will keep for several days in an airtight container in the refrigerator.