Nothing says summer like a cold and refreshing bowl of authentic Spanish Gazpacho to cool off. The Authentic gazpacho recipe from Spain is cold, refreshing, and silky smooth not chunky. Add some crunch with some fresh-cut tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, and freshly made croutons.
Summer is here, sure feels like it! School is over, the pool is open and it's been insanely hot for the past few weeks. And we've made our first batch of our authentic Spanish gazpacho recipe. Now that is the true sign that summer days are here!
What is Gazpacho?
Gazpacho is a cold soup made from raw tomatoes, cucumbers, red bell peppers, and garlic and seasoned with olive oil, vinegar, and salt. The recipe comes from the Spanish region of Andalucia (Andalusia). If you want to be a purist this is the only cold soup that should be labeled gazpacho.
We learned this recipe while living in Spain, directly from an Andalusian woman, where gazpacho originated. Every summer, our mom would make it from the fresh veggies our dad would bring from his garden.
In the United States, gazpacho has now become a synonym for any cold soup, so you will find recipes for watermelon gazpacho, green gazpacho, strawberry gazpacho, or cucumber gazpacho, to name a few. In Spain, this soup is served smooth, not chunky like it is in the U.S. All of the pulp is strained out for a silky texture.
We took this picture many summers ago when our entire family met in Barcelona for a wedding. The kids had a blast picking fruits and vegetables with their cousins from Papi's garden! And all those tomatoes you see went straight into the blender as soon as we got home!!
Spanish Gazpacho Ingredients
This is a raw cold soup, so the quality of all the ingredients matter, try to get the most flavorful summer tomatoes you can find and good extra virgin olive oil.
- Ripe Summer Tomatoes. Do not use tomato juice. Make this soup with fresh tomatoes, preferably from a garden or farmer's market.
- Red Bell Peppers. These have the best, sweet flavor for your soup without the sharpness of a green bell pepper.
- Cucumbers. Persian cucumbers are my favorite, but if you have some regular cukes in the fridge already, use what you have.
- Garlic Clove. Do not use pre-minced or dried garlic. Fresh is so much better and everything is fresh in this recipe so it makes a difference.
- Water. Just for thinning out the gazpacho as needed.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Helps smooth out the texture.
- Apple Cider Vinegar or sherry vinegar Adds brightness. Other recipes suggest red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar, both of which can be used. Each type of vinegar adds a different flavor profile and sweetness to the gazpacho recipe.
- Salt. To taste.
- Plain Bread Crumbs. You can skip these ingredients, but they give this cold soup an almost silken texture.
Ingredients for Homemade Croutons
- French Baguette. Day-old is even better.
- Olive Oil. For flavor and crunch.
- Salt to Taste.
How To Make Gazpacho
You are going to love how easy it is to make this gazpacho recipe, which is basically a vegetable smoothie. Start by gathering all of the ingredients from your garden, farmer's market, and your pantry. Wash them well, cut them up, and place them in batches in a blender.
Puree everything until it is smooth. Next, you will run the mixture through a sieve to remove the seeds and skins and create a pure, creamy, velvety gazpacho soup.
Smooth and push the soup mixture over the holes in the sieve with the flat side of a spoon and push through as much liquid as possible to preserve the soup.
Eventually, your sieve will look like this.
Making homemade croutons is super easy. Dice up the baguette into crouton size pieces and place them in a large mixing bowl. A drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of salt and these babies are ready to put in the oven.
Bake the homemade croutons for 20 minutes at 400ºF until they are golden brown.
How to Serve Gazpacho
This beautiful cold Spanish soup can be served in a bowl with a garnish of freshly diced cucumbers, diced tomatoes, diced red onions, homemade croutons,or diced hard-boiled eggs. If you go to a restaurant in Spain and order this soup, the garnishes will be served on the side in little bowls so you can pick and choose.
You could consider other non-traditional garnishes such as avocado, green bell pepper for color, black pepper, roasted corn, fresh herbs such as cilantro, or halved cherry tomatoes. It can also be served as a refreshing cold drink with all the garden flavors of summer in a glass. Make this easy gazpacho recipe the meal, or add a pillowy focaccia, crusty pan con tomate, chickpea salad, or a quick Shakshuka to round things out.
How to Store Gazpacho
By definition, this gazpacho Andaluz should always be served cold. Keep it in the fridge until you are ready for your meal. If you make it a day ahead it will taste even better. Leftovers should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for three to five days.
This gazpacho soup recipe can be frozen. For easy lunches, freeze it in individual containers that will thaw as the day goes by. You can also freeze an entire batch, but it is always better when eaten fresh.
Does gazpacho always have tomato?
Yes. A traditional Andaluz-style tomato gazpacho always includes fresh tomatoes as the base for the cold soup. In the U.S. other cold soups with a variety of non-traditional ingredients have adopted the name gazpacho and do not contain tomatoes.
Is gazpacho really healthy for you?
Yes. It is nearly all vegetables with some healthy oil and a few bread crumbs to improve the texture.
Why do you eat gazpacho cold?
It's a cold refreshing soup that is mean to be eaten in the summer when it's hot out. The ingredients are chilled and raw when the soup is made. This gives the soup a cold, creamy freshness perfect for summer.
What is the difference between gazpacho and tomato soup?
Tomato soup is cooked and served hot. Gazpacho is made from raw ingredients and served cold.
Is gazpacho really just salsa?
No. While the ingredients are very similar, gazpacho is pureed and strained and served as a soup or drink.
More Great Recipes From Spain
- Pan con tomate,
- Spring onions with Romesco Sauce,
- Tortilla de Patatas,
- Espinacas a la Catalana,
- Montadito de tortilla de berengenas
- Lemon Scented Almond Milk Custard
- Romesco Sauce
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Nothing like a cold and refreshing bowl of authentic Spanish Gazpacho to cool off this summer. Authentic gazpacho from Spain is silky and smooth not chunky. You can add some crunch with some fresh cut tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and fresh made croutons.
- 3 medium red bell peppers, roughly chopped
- 3 large cucumbers, peeled and roughly chopped
- 12 medium ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 1 large clove of garlic (optional)
- 2 cups water
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, sherry vinegar, or red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp salt or more to taste
- ¼ cup plain breadcrumbs (optional)
- Homemade croutons
- 1 large french baguette
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼ tsp salt or to taste
- Place all the ingredients in batches in a blender. With each batch add some of the water, olive oil, salt vinegar, and bread crumbs. Blend until smooth
- Pour each blended batch through a fine mesh strainer to strain the tomato and pepper skin and cucumber seeds.
- Chill for a couple of hours before serving.
- Serve with homemade croutons
- Home made croutons
- Dice the baguette and place in a large bowl
- Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt. Spread the bread cubes on a cookie sheet lined with tin foil in one single layer
- Bake at 400F for 20 minutes or until golden brown
- Serve on top of the gazpacho.
- Enjoy! From May I have that recipe
- In addition to the croutons, you can add freshly diced cucumbers, tomatoes, and bell peppers.
- The gazpacho will taste better if cooled in the fridge overnight.
- When is really hot out fill a pitcher with gazpacho and serve it in drinking glasses for a cold, refreshing filling snack.
- In the US many recipes add Tabasco or hot sauce to gazpacho. Try not to do that, you want the flavor of the fresh summer produce to shine.
This post was originally published on June 16, 2013.
- Prep Time: 20 mins
- Cook Time: 20 mins
- Category: cold soup
- Method: raw
- Cuisine: Spanish
- Serving Size: 1 cup without croutons
- Calories: 125
- Sugar: 1
- Sodium: 197
- Fat: 11
- Saturated Fat: 2
- Trans Fat: 0
- Carbohydrates: 7
- Fiber: 2
- Protein: 2
- Cholesterol: 0