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This classic gazpacho recipe is a vibrant red-orange and full of traditional Spanish flavor! It’s quick to blend up this summer soup.
What’s better than a creamy, cool gazpacho on a blazing hot day? Sure, some Americans aren’t into cold soups. But this Spanish soup, born in the heat of Southern Spain, is the true definition of refreshing. The cool puree of tomato and cucumber against the zing of the sherry vinegar and rich olive oil is truly one of life’s great pleasures. Finally, we’ve got a great recipe for a summer gazpacho: made like the Spanish do.
What’s gazpacho, exactly?
Gazpacho is a cold tomato-based soup from the Andalusia region of Southern Spain. It’s made of raw, pureed vegetables and is now eaten around the world. An important thing about gazpacho: it’s intended as a refreshment on a hot day, not to be a filling main course! So it’s usually served as a starter or tapas recipe. There are a few similar Spanish soups, like salmorejo (creamier and made with bread) and ajoblanco (a white garlic version).
Lucky for us, Alex and I have been able to experience first hand a good, cold gazpacho in the Spanish heat! It was our first meal in country on a trip to Spain a few years ago, in a tiny restaurant in the center of a white-washed village. Dang, was it refreshing! Since then, we’ve been perfecting our perfect gazpacho recipe to recreate that special moment.
Ingredients in a classic gazpacho recipe
The ingredients in a classic Spanish gazpacho vary, like any traditional recipe. Everyone has their perfect way to make gazpacho! Here are the ingredients we selected to make this gazpacho similar to our perfect Spanish rendition:
- Ripe tomatoes: only the best, ripe summer tomatoes will do
- Red bell pepper
- Shallot: this brings a more subtle flavor than onion, which can be spicy
- Olive oil
- Sherry vinegar: traditionally used in Spanish recipes and brings in that authentic flavor
- Smoked paprika: the secret ingredient! See below.
What makes this gazpacho recipe great
There are good gazpacho recipes, and there are great ones. We hope you’ll find this one to be in the latter category! We’ve studied the Spanish tradition and tried to stick as close to authentic as possible. Here are a few notes on what makes this recipe great:
- Sherry vinegar and smoked paprika bring authentic flavor. Smoked paprika (aka pimentón) is a traditional Spanish ingredient and adds just the right hint of complexity here. Sherry vinegar is another Spanish ingredient, and it’s astringent flavor lends just the right flair. It’s worth finding for this recipe.
- It nixes the bread. Some Spanish gazpacho recipes use soaked bread for creaminess, but it can dilute the flavor. Plus, we took cues from our favorite Spanish Chef (José Andrés) who doesn’t use it in his. Try a Salmorejo recipe for a bread-thickened soup.
- It’s pureed, but not strained. Some chefs strain their gazpacho, but we like ours pureed, right from the blender. But we think a good gazpacho should be blended, not chunky! Chunky gazpacho seems to be more of an American creation, not Spanish.
Chill until cold, about 2 hours (or up to 3 days)
Gazpacho is very simple to make: simply throw the ingredients in a blender, and blend until pureed! The hardest part is waiting for it to chill. Here are a few notes:
- Chilling makes it cold, and helps the flavors meld. Don’t be tempted to throw it in the freezer to speed things up. The timing helps the flavors to mesh while they also cool.
- Refrigerate up to 3 days. Personally we like it within 1 day of making. But you can also make in advance and refrigerate until serving.
How to garnish gazpacho
A great gazpacho is also all about the garnish! It works in either bowls or small cups or glasses. It’s most often served with chopped veggies and a crusty piece of bread. Here’s what to use for a garnish for gazpacho:
- Chopped tomatoes, cucumbers or shallot
- Fresh herbs like oregano, chives or basil
- Crusty bread like crostini or grilled bread
- Olive oil drizzle
More Spanish recipes
Love Spanish recipes? After studying in Spain years ago, I fell head over heels with this special cuisine. Here are a few more of the Spanish recipes we love to make at home:
- Paella: The traditional Spanish rice dish! Try our Spanish Paella or Vegetarian Paella
- Spanish tortilla: the traditional potato and egg omelet is popular everywhere; try Spanish Tortilla (Tortilla Española)
- Pan con tomate: The best summer tapa starring tomatoes! Try Pan Con Tomate
- Patatas bravas: Another favorite tapa: try our Spanish Patatas Bravas
This gazpacho recipe is…
Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free, and gluten-free.Print
- 2 pounds ripe quality tomatoes, cored and roughly chopped (about 3 large)
- 1/2 medium cucumber, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1/2 red bell pepper, roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon minced shallot
- 1 small garlic clove, peeled
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika (pimenton)
- Place all ingredients in a blender, and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust salt as needed.
- Refrigerate until cold, about 2 hours, or up to 3 days before serving.
- Serve topped with additional chopped veggies, a drizzle of olive oil, and toasted bread.
- Category: Soup
- Method: Blended
- Cuisine: Spanish
- Diet: Vegan
Keywords: Gazpacho, gazpacho recipe