Gazpacho soup is super easy to make with fresh summer veggies, tomato juice, vinegar, and olive oil. Serve chilled with garlic croutons for a light and delicious meal. This cold and tangy soup is a refreshing way to beat the summer heat.
Estimated reading time: 7 minutes
Table of Contents
Gazpacho a Spanish soup generally hailing from Andalusia. The word gazpacho is derived from the Arabic for “soaked bread.” This refers to the general technique of adding bread or bread crumbs to thicken the soup.
While some Spanish cookbooks refer to gazpacho as a salad, it’s more frequent form in the US is an uncooked mixture of tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, peppers, garlic, olive oil, sherry vinegar and water, sometimes thickened with bread.
The best gazpacho is super refreshing and bursting with fresh-from-the-garden summer vegetables.
For a deviation from the traditional gazpacho, I decided to forego the addition of bread to thicken the soup but add garlic croutons on the top.
Making the Garlic Croutons
I made the garlic croutons from three simple ingredients: Cubed bread, garlic, and olive oil.
The first thing that I did was to infuse the olive oil with minced garlic. I did this by adding the garlic to the olive oil and letting it sit for 20 minutes. Then I strained the garlic from the olive oil.
Next, I added the infused olive oil to the bread cubes. I tossed the bread cubes with the oil and ensured that the bread cubes were nicely coated.
I spread the coated bread cubes on a baking sheet that I had lined with non-stick aluminum foil. Then I baked the croutons in a preheated 325°F oven for about 20 minutes, until they were nice and crispy.
I let the croutons cool and stored them in a Ziploc bag.
Ingredients for Gazpacho
The main ingredients in gazpacho are the vegetables – garden fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, Vidalia onions, red bell peppers, fresh garlic, and fresh parsley. I prefer the English cucumber to the normal variety because it has less seeds and is tastier.
For the liquids, I used olive oil, sherry vinegar and tomato juice. The sherry vinegar is a nod to Spain where sherry is produced.
The seasonings were Kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper and hot sauce.
Making the Gazpacho
The most labor-intensive part of making the gazpacho was preparing the vegetables.
First, I peeled half of the cucumber and left the other half unpeeled. Then, I removed the seeds from the tomatoes, cucumber, and bell pepper.
Next, I cut half of the seeded vegetables into 1-inch pieces and cut the other half in ¼-inch pieces. I also cut half of the onion into 1-inch pieces and the other half into ¼-inch pieces.
Now for the easy part! I added the 1-inch pieces of the tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper, and onion along with the minced garlic to my food processor fitted with the steel blade. I pulsed the vegetables about 5 times. I didn’t want to purée the vegetables but wanted them smaller than the ¼-inch vegetables.
After that, I added the ¼-inch vegetables, tomato juice, parsley, vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper to the food processor.
I pulsed the mixture 2 or 3 times to blend the ingredients together without breaking down the vegetables too much.
I transferred the gazpacho soup to a large bowl. I covered the bowl and refrigerated the soup for at least 4 hours. I wanted to ensure that the soup was thoroughly chilled and that the flavors had blended together.
The gazpacho soup was cold, full of healthy garden-fresh vegetables and refreshing on the hot summer day.
Frequently Asked Questions
It’s really a matter of preference as to whether to peel the cucumber or not. I decided to peel half of the cucumber that was first processed, but to leave the peel on the other half of the cucumber that I cut into ¼-inch pieces. The main reason for leaving part of the cucumber unpeeled was to add some color to the soup.
Gazpacho originated with the use of fresh summer vegetables and is traditionally served cold to counter the summer heat.
Gazpacho is a low-calorie nutritious soup that is rich in vitamins and fiber. It satisfies hunger, is rich in fiber and boasts many health benefits.
Some people prefer that the tomatoes be peeled. However, it really isn’t necessary to peel the tomatoes if they’re thin-skinned. You should, however, remove the seeds. Some people will also remove the tomato pulp, but I find that the pulp adds flavor to the soup.
Gazpacho will last 4 to 5 days in the refrigerator. In fact, the flavors tend to improve over time.
Other Chilled Soups
While gazpacho is typically served cold, other soups are equally good served hot or cold. Some of my favorites include the following recipes:
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- Food Processor
Garlic Croutons (See Tip 1)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 Tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cups bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 12 ounces fresh tomatoes (about 2), divided
- ½ English cucumber (8 ounces), divided
- ½ medium onion (4 ounces), divided
- ½ red bell pepper, divided
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 ½ cups tomato juice
- 2 Tablespoons minced fresh parsley
- 2 Tablespoons Sherry vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- Dash hot sauce
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a baking sheet with non-stick aluminum foil. Set aside.
- Combine garlic and olive oil in a small bowl. Allow to sit for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes strain olive oil in a wire mesh strainer. Discard the garlic.
- Add infused olive oil to bread cubes; toss to coat. Spread bread cubes in a single layer on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes or until the bread cubes are thoroughly dried and crispy. Cool; store in an air-tight container.
- Peel half of the cucumber; leave the other half unpeeled. (See Tip 2)
- Remove the seeds from the tomatoes, cucumbers, and bell pepper. Cut half of the tomatoes, bell pepper, and onion into 1-inch pieces. Cut the peeled cucumber into 1-inch pieces. Cut the remaining tomatoes, bell pepper, onion, and unpeeled cucumber into ¼-inch pieces. Set aside.
- Add 1-inch pieces of tomatoes, bell pepper, onions, and cucumber, along with the garlic to food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse process 5 times or enough to break the vegetables into small pieces. Add remaining tomatoes, bell pepper, onion, and cucumber, along with parsley, tomato juice, sherry, olive oil, hot sauce, salt and pepper to food processor. Pulse process 2 or 3 times to combine.
- Transfer gazpacho to a bowl; cover and refrigerate for at least four hours. (See Tip 3)
- Serve well chilled with garlic croutons.
- Yield: 4 servings
Chula’s Expert Tips
- You can omit the garlic croutons if you like.
- I like to leave the peel on the half of the cucumber that I cut into ¼-inch pieces. The reason is that the peel adds some color to the soup. However, this is totally a personal preference.
- The gazpacho soup should be served well chilled. It will keep in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 days. The flavors of the soup improve over time.