top of page

Gazpacho



"Classic" Gazpacho

Most Americans have seen, or at least heard of, Gazpacho. Gazpacho has a large amount of “accepted variance” from a standard. Most people add cucumber to the base, many use bell peppers, and most use a bit of onion. Some add a hint of some spicy pepper. Like the other cold soups we’ve discussed, gazpacho traditionally has used bread in the base, but these days, some people do and some don’t. The fancier versions almost never use bread any more, and even many of the home cooks I know would rather eat good bread on the side. With or without the bread, gazpacho tends to be a lot less thick than some of the other cold soups.


Making a proper Gazpacho is very much about adjusting to your taste and the particulars of the ingredients at hand. I tend to like them a bit more acidic than many people – if you are more sensitive to the acidity, use less vinegar. If your tomatoes or fruit aren’t very sweet, you can add a pinch of sugar or a splash of honey. You can experiment with different vinegars, peppers, and just about anything else you think will fit. Let your taste and judgement guide you.


Without the bread, your gazpacho won’t emulsify as well, so if you want a perfect emulsion, you can soak a bit of stale bread as per the salmarejo (above), and add it to the blender. Use a lot less, though, as you don’t want a gazpacho to be nearly as thick as a salmorejo.

Again, taste while you blend and adjust the amount of vinegar depending on how acidic the tomatoes are.


Ingredients (makes about 5 cups)

  • 2 lbs very ripe, flavorful tomatoes, cored, and cut into chunks

  • 8 oz English or Persian cucumber, cut into small chunks

  • ½ green bell pepper, seeded and cut in small pieces

  • ¼ small red onion, peeled and rough chopped

  • ¼ cup or TT sherry vinegar (or substitute red wine vinegar)

  • 1 jalapeño or serrano pepper (optional – delicious, but not something you’d get in Spain)

  • Salt TT

  • 3/8 cup extra virgin olive oil

To serve

  • Diced or sliced cucumber

  • Coarse salt

  • Your best extra virgin olive oil

1. Add the tomatoes, cucumber, salt, and sherry vinegar to the blender. Blend just until they begin to break down a bit. Add the bell pepper, onion, and jalapeño or serrano (if using), and blend until very smooth – this will likely take a couple minutes. Taste, and adjust the salt and vinegar, if needed.

When smooth, with the blender running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil to emulsify and make the soup creamy. You can blend in a little bit of cold water if you want to thin the gazpacho. Transfer to a container and cool down in the fridge until ready to eat.


2. Serve cold, topped with the cucumber, a little coarse salt, and a generous pour of the good olive oil.

Fruit Gazpacho

These days various stone fruits, melons, and strawberries commonly replace some or all of the tomatoes in fruity versions of gazpacho, and herbs are sometimes added. One of the best gazpachos I’ve eaten was a deep green colored, green apple version from a restaurant in Burgos.


Everything from the discussion of the "classic" gazpacho applies, but there is less tradition, and thus even more freedom, with fruit versions. The recipe that follows is a pretty tame starting point. You can up the ratio of fruit to tomato, or even eliminate the tomatoes entirely.


Mix and match whatever fruit are at their peak flavor. Substitute strawberries in the spring when they are at their best, or use different melons when they are good. Skip the onions if you are using melon, as they really don’t play nicely together. Also, if you are using muskmelons such as cantaloupe, skip the tomatoes.


There really isn’t a right or wrong way to do fruit gazpachos. It’s all about context. Let your taste guide you.

Ingredients (makes about 5 cups)

  • 1 lb very ripe, flavorful tomato, cored and cut in pieces

  • 1 lb very ripe, flavorful Stone fruit (plums, peaches, nectarines, apricots, etc.), stones and stems removed, and cut in pieces. You can substitute strawberries.

  • 8 oz cucumber

  • ¼ small red onion, peeled and rough chopped (optional)

  • 2-3 Tbsp or TT sherry vinegar (or substitute red wine vinegar)

  • ½ bell pepper (any color), seeded and rough chopped

  • Salt TT

  • 3/8 cup extra virgin olive oil

To serve

  • Diced fruit (use whatever kind you used to make the soup)

  • Coarse salt

  • Your best extra virgin olive oil


1. Add the tomatoes, cucumber, fruit, salt, and sherry vinegar to the blender. Blend just until they begin to break down a bit. Add the bell pepper and onion and blend until very smooth – this will likely take a couple minutes. Taste, and adjust the salt and vinegar, if needed.

When smooth, with the blender running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil to emulsify and make the soup creamy. You can blend in a little bit of cold water if you want to thin the gazpacho. Transfer to a container and cool down in the fridge until ready to eat.


2. Serve cold, topped with the chopped fruit, a little coarse salt, and a generous pour of the good olive oil.

76 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page