This step-by-step tutorial is all you need to make the BEST Tomato Gazpacho Recipe! Spanish chilled tomato and vegetable soup that is fresh, light, and packed with flavor. Perfect for a summer lunch or party appetizer! Comes together in 15 minutes, and you can make it ahead and chill overnight for more developed flavor. Be sure to grab all my tips below.
The first time I tried gazpacho soup was at a fancy baby shower. It was served in small glasses as a non-alcoholic apéritif. I took my first sip and was immediately hooked...So much flavor in just one little shot of chilled tomato soup.
And if you're anything like me, and you have more ripe tomatoes than you can eat, gazpacho soup is your ticket!
What is Gazpacho?
Gazpacho (Gas-pa-tcho) is a flavor-packed chilled tomato and vegetable soup from the southern Spanish region of Andalusia. I learned from Clifford Wright that gazpacho actually originated as poor man's food consumed by laborers in the vineyards and olive plantations. It consisted mainly of stale "residue" or leftover bread, water, and olive oil all pounded in a wooden bowl. As available, leftover fragments of vegetables were added and pounded through with the liquid. Not so fancy, but absolutely delicious!
Gazpacho is super popular throughout Spain and Portugal, and there are millions of gazpacho variations out there, most known to us here in the States is tomato gazpacho.
As far as gazpacho ingredients, let's just agree right now that no two tomato gazpacho recipes are the same. But, most will have these essential ingredients: tomatoes, onion, green pepper, cucumber, olive oil, vinegar (sherry vinegar is more authentic to Andalusia, where gazpacho originated), bread (soaked in water), and garlic.
My easy gazpacho recipe is an adaptation from Jamie Oliver's Food Escapes. It took 15 minutes and a food processor! You'll love the added fresh garnish of fresh mint and cilantro; and if you're into spicy foods, a little cayenne pepper takes this gazpacho to a new level of tasty!
Before we get to the step-by-step gazpacho tutorial, I have just a few tips for you.
A few Tips for this Tomato Gazpacho Soup:
1) Because there is no cooking involved in this recipe, for best flavor, only use the freshest and best ingredients you can find. This goes for the produce as well as the extra virgin olive oil. Tomatoes are the star here, so be sure to select perfectly ripe tomatoes--like I mentioned in this Mediterranean tomato salad post, good tomatoes will be fragrant and should be plump and heavy. Tomato skins should be nice and smooth.
What kind of tomatoes to use for gazpacho soup? We already agreed that no two gazpacho recipes are the same. You can use whichever tomatoes you prefer as long as they are ripe. In fact, you can use a combination of different tomatoes (cherry, heriloom, vine ripe).
In today's gazpacho recipe, I used vine ripe tomatoes, but I really enjoy heirloom tomatoes as well. Heirloom tomatoes taste sweeter to the palate, there is probably no need to add more sugar. I learned in this article that, because of their healthy foliage, heirloom tomatoes can convert more sunlight into sugars and other flavorful components.
2) You do need to use bread that is at least one day old here. If possible, choose quality artisan bread that you like, it does make a difference in how the gazpacho soup tastes.
3) For more developed flavor, try to chill the gazpacho for a couple of hours or so before serving. You can make it ahead of time and chill it overnight, if you like. I like to use an air-tight glass container or even canning jars like this one.
How to Make this Easy Gazpacho Recipe:
1. Soak the bread in about ½ cup of water for a bit while you work on the tomatoes and other ingredients. (Make sure to ring out all the water once bread is nice and soft.)
2. Prepare a large pot of boiling water. Remove tomato tops and carefully drop the tomatoes in the boiling water for 40 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon and let the tomatoes cool for a minute or so. When cool enough to handle, gently peel the tomatoes.
3. In a large food processor fitted with a blade, place the peeled tomatoes, cucumbers, celery, bell peppers, green onions, and garlic. Add the soaked bread, ½ cup quality extra virgin olive oil (I used Greek Early Harvest), and sherry vinegar.
4. Run the processor for a few seconds then add salt, pepper, cumin, cayenne pepper (optional), and a pinch of sugar. Blend. Test, if the gazpacho is took thick, add a little bit of water and blend again until you reach desired consistency.
5. Transfer gazpacho soup to a glass container or large canning jar. Cover tightly and refrigerate for a couple of hours or overnight. When ready to serve, give the gazpacho a quick stir then transfer to serving bowls or glasses.
Top with a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. If you like, garnish with fresh mint, cilantro and chopped green onions.
If you're wondering about the color, gazpacho should be more orange than a deeper red, that's because of the use of bread and other ingredients here.
For lunch or a light supper, maybe with a side of crusty bread and next to a hearty salad like Balela, this gazpacho recipe will serve 4 or so people. As a starter, or aperitif, you can serve it in small glasses to 8 or more people.
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Easy gazpacho recipe with fresh ripe tomatoes and vegetables, garlic, vinegar and extra virgin olive oil. A pinch of cumin and a garnish of fresh herbs amp up the flavor! Serve it in bowls for lunch or in small glasses as an aperitif.
- 5 slices stale artisan bread, crust removed
- 5 large ripe tomatoes (about 2 lb)
- ½ English cucumber, peeled, chopped
- 1 celery stalk, chopped
- 1 green pepper, cored, seeded, roughly chopped
- 2 green onions, trimmed, roughly chopped, more for garnish
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled, roughly chopped
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil (I used Early Harvest Greek extra virgin olive oil)
- 2 tbsp sherry vinegar (or
- Salt and pepper
- ½ tsp cumin
- ½ tsp to 1 tsp cayenne pepper, optional if you like spicy
- Pinch sugar
- Small handful fresh, mint leaves, torn or chopped
- Small handful fresh cilantro leaves, torn or chopped
- Place the bread slices in a bowl with ½ cup of water. Let it soak while you work on the tomatoes. ring it out completely before using.
- Remove tomato tops. Place the tomatoes in a large pot of boiling water for 40 seconds or so. With a slotted spoon, remove the tomatoes from the boiling water and let them cool for about a minute or so. When they are cool enough to handle, gently peel the skins off.
- In a large food processor or blender, place the tomatoes with the cucumbers, celery, bell peppers, green onions and garlic. Top with the soaked bread. Pour ½ cup extra virgin olive oil and the sherry vinegar. Run the processor for a few seconds then add the salt, pepper, cumin, cayenne pepper (optional) and a pinch of sugar; blend.
- Test the gazpacho, and if it's too thick, add a little water and blend again until you reach the desired texture.
- Transfer to a glass container or large canning jars. Cover tightly and chill in refrigerator.
- When ready to serve, give the gazpacho a quick stir then transfer to serving bowls or small glasses. Top with olive oil and a garnish of fresh mint, cilantro and chopped green onions, if you like.
- Cook's Tip: Refrigerate gazpacho for a couple of hours or overnight for a more developed flavor.
- Serving Tip: This recipe will serve 4 or so for lunch or light supper (with your favorite crusty bread and a hearty salad, maybe Balela). To serve as an appetizer or aperitif, you pour gazpacho into small chilled glasses for 8 or more people.
- Leftovers? Keep leftover gazpacho refrigerated in tight-lid glass containers or glass canning jars. It should keep well for 3 days or so.
- Recommended for this Recipe: Our Early Harvest extra virgin olive oil (from organically grown and processed Koroneiki olives!)
- Visit our store to browse our spices, olive oils and bundles!
- Category: Sides
- Method: Blended
- Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keywords: Tomato Gazpacho, Easy Gazpacho Recipe, Gazpacho Soup
*This post was recently updated with new information and media for readers' benefit.