Easy Tomato Gazpacho Recipe ~ everybody needs to know how to make themselves a classic cooling gazpacho when the temperatures soar. This simple chilled Spanish soup is the ultimate refresher.
Gazpacho is one of the glories of summer, this lovely cold, raw soup has to be made with garden fresh tomatoes.
Forget about eating it during the rest of the year, you can only make and enjoy a truly great gazpacho in the summer. Its charm lies in the exhilarating inverse proportion of sweltering hot (you) to icy cold (it). Think of it this way: if its hot enough to ripen tomatoes on the vine, it’s gazpacho time! I make gazpacho out of all sorts of tomatoes, from classic red to colorful heirlooms.
I love the soft unique colors that come from using heirloom tomatoes, and even when you use red ripe tomatoes the color is much softer once you’ve blended them up.
Tip: if you’d like a deep rich red color to your gazpacho, blend in some roasted red peppers, the kind you buy in the jar.
It’s my secret weapon when I’m craving a rich red color in my soup. They give the base of the soup a vivid shade and add a layer of smokey flavor. You can see the power of roasted red peppers in action in my Middle Eastern Roasted Red Pepper Dip.
For the rest of the veggies, find the freshest possible…a nice, taut young cucumber (preferably pickling or English, they have less seeds) a deep purple red onion, and the brightest bell peppers you can locate. Grab a few cherry tomatoes for garnish, along with a few small edible blossoms. If you have a yard, you probably have some growing somewhere, and if you don’t have a yard, take a walk around the block and see what you can find (make sure they’re unsprayed and pesticide free.) I have a handy list of common edible flowers in my Spring Salad with Edible Flowers post.
Tip: I make the gazpacho base the day before I want to serve the soup, that way the flavors have a chance to develop and it makes it so easy to assemble for a quick dinner with crusty bread and wine.
This is the most lovely summer soup ever, hope you try it!
Easy Tomato Gazpacho Recipe
- 1 lb ripe tomatoes
- 1/2 cup roasted red pepper, optional, for added color and flavor
- 1 5.5 oz can tomato juice, also optional. It adds a more 'tomatoey flavor.
- 2 Tbsp Sherry vinegar, substitute any vinegar you like
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- juice of 1/2 lemon, optional, taste first
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/2 red onion, finely minced
- 1 colorful bell pepper, finely minced
- about an 8 inch piece of seedless cucumber, finely minced, no need to peel.
- small basil or cilantro leaves
- a few heirloom cherry tomatoes, halved
- edible blossoms
- a drizzle of olive oil
- Wash the tomatoes and give them a rough chop. Add half of them to a food processor, along with the roasted red pepper, and process until very smooth. Add in the tomato juice and pulse to combine.
- Add the rest of the tomatoes and pulse till they are incorporated but not quite as smooth, so you will have a little bit of texture.
- Season the soup with the vinegar, olive oil, lemon, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes and remove it to a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for several hours, or until ready to serve.
- When you are ready to serve, give the soup a stir and taste it to adjust the seasonings. It may need more salt, or more lemon, for instance. Then spoon into small bowls or glasses and top with the finely minced onion, peppers, and cucumbers.
- Garnish as you like, with halved cherry tomatoes, small basil or cilantro leaves, and edible flowers, if you have them. Serve immediately.