Gazpacho Soup is a chilled, fresh tomato soup originating from Southern Spain. It is the most refreshing soup to have on a hot summer day and the tastiest when tomatoes are in peak season.
Although tomatoes are the star of the show this soup also includes cucumber and red bell pepper along with a small amount of sweet onion and garlic. Everything is pureed in a blender and then topped off with a splash of vinegar and a good glug of extra virgin olive oil. It's super easy and quick to make but does taste better the next day so you want to plan ahead.
In Andalucía, where this soup originates, it's very common for a few chunks of day old bread to be added to thicken the soup. I'm personally not a fan of the texture with the added bread so I choose to keep it light and omit it. Feel free to add bread to yours if that's what you prefer...or maybe just to try it if you've never had it that way.
Here's what you will need to make this recipe. For quantities see the recipe card below.
- Ripe tomatoes - preferably from your own garden or the farmer's market stand for the most ultimate flavour.
- English cucumber - no need to peel or de-seed.
- Red bell pepper
- Sweet onion
- Sherry vinegar
- Good quality extra virgin olive oil
- Optional toppings: Extra tomatoes, cucumber, red pepper or onion, fresh parsley, croutons, chopped hard boiled egg, sliced or chopped prosciutto.
Step 1 - cut tomatoes in half (not from top to bottom but across the middle to expose the seed pockets. Remove tomato seeds and place in a mesh strainer over a bowl. This will remove the liquid which will be added into the soup later. Chop tomatoes into large chunks. Chop the rest of the vegetables and garlic into chunks and place everything into a large bowl.
Step 2 - Working in batches, add everything to the blender and blend until smooth. Add each batch to a large bowl.
Step 3 - When everything is pureed and in the bowl add the drained tomato water from the seeds, sherry vinegar, olive oil and salt. Stir well and taste. Add more salt and/or vinegar as necessary to suit your tastes. Cover and refrigerate, or pour into a large jug, and let chill in the fridge overnight. This soup gets better as it sits.
- English cucumber - a regular garden cucumber can be used but be sure to peel it, cut in half lenghtwise, and remove the seeds with a spoon.
- Red bell pepper - traditionally Italian style green peppers (the long thin ones) are used so feel free to use that type or any other colour of bell pepper. Keep in mind that the red ones have the sweetest taste.
- Sweet onion - red or yellow Spanish onion can be used but rinse chopped onion under cold water before pureeing to remove some of the bite. Otherwise it can add bitterness to the soup.
- Garlic - only a small amount is needed in this soup and can also be left out altogether.
- Sherry vinegar - sherry vinegar is used widely in Spain. It's milder and sweeter than wine vinegars and is delicious in salad dressings as well. So if you can find it I highly recommend adding it to your pantry. However, you can also substitute with red or white wine vinegar.
Gazpacho will keep in the refrigerator for 5 days. It will separate so be sure to stir well before serving.
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A good blender or food processor is necessary for this soup. If using a food processor it will take a few extra batches to puree all the vegetables and the texture may not be as smooth as a blender.
The blender I use - Ninja Professional Countertop Blender
My favourite brand for food processors - Cuisinart 14-Cup Food Processor I don't have this exact one. Mine is ancient! But that's exactly why I recommend Cuisinart brand. I also linked the 14 cup version here because I think "go big or go home". There's also an 8 cup version that is smaller and less expensive.
This soup is very much a seasonal recipe. If you make it when tomatoes aren't in season it won't be nearly as good. The freshest tomatoes, grown close to home are best. Even better if they are over-ripe. That only intensifies the flavour.
Every time you make this soup it will turn out differently but will always be delicious! I encourage you to play around with it to make it your own. Try it with a chunk of stale bread to thicken or a bit of carrot to add more sweetness. Also try out all the various garnishes to find what you like the best.
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- 5 large ripe tomatoes approx. 1 kg/2.5 lbs.
- 1 English cucumber 10-12 inches
- 1 red pepper
- ¼ sweet onion
- 1 small clove garlic
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil plus more for garnish
- 2 teaspoon sherry vinegar
- 1 teaspoon salt more or less to taste
- cucumber, diced
- tomato, diced
- onion, diced
- bell pepper, diced
- hard-boiled eggs, chopped
- prosciutto, chopped
- Remove the top stem area of the tomato and cut tomatoes in half (not from top to bottom but across the middle to expose the seed pockets (see photo above). Remove tomato seeds and place in a mesh strainer over a bowl. This will remove the liquid which will be added into the soup later.
- Chop tomatoes, cucumber, pepper, and onion into large chunks. If using any vegetables for garnish, chop them into a small dice and reserve.
- Peel garlic and chop into a few pieces.
- Place vegetables into a blender (you may need to do this in 2 to 3 batches) and blend until smooth. Pour into a large bowl and add sherry vinegar, olive oil, drained tomato juice from seeds, and salt. Stir to combine. Taste and add more salt and/or vinegar as needed to suit your own taste.
- Cover and chill overnight in the refrigerator. I usually keep mine in a juice jug so it’s easy to pour into dishes later. Stir before serving and top with your favourite garnishes.