Gazpacho is a chilled, uncooked vegetable soup that originates from the Andalusian region of Spain. There are many variations on gazpacho, but the most popular by far is a classic tomato-based version like the one we've posted here. Our gazpacho recipe is a simple blend of fresh, ripe tomatoes, cucumber, red and green bell peppers, jalapeño, garlic, onion, olive oil and sherry vinegar.
- 2 lbs (4 to 5 medium) ripe tomatoes, peeled (see below for tips on easy peeling)
- 3/4 English cucumber, peeled and roughly chopped (plus more for garnish)
- 1/2 medium red bell pepper, seeded and roughly chopped (plus more for garnish)
- 1/2 medium green bell pepper, seeded and roughly chopped (plus more for garnish)
- 1/2 jalapeño pepper, seeded and roughly chopped (or more to taste)
- 1/4 cup sweet onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, quartered (or more to taste)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil (Spanish if possible)
- 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- 1 to 2 cups stale bread cubes (1/2 to 3/4-inch)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
Seed the tomatoes, cut them into quarters and place them in a blender or food processor.
Add the cucumber, red and green bell pepper, jalapeño, onion, garlic, olive oil and sherry vinegar. Season with about 1/2 teaspoon of salt and a few grinds of black pepper.
Purée the mixture until smooth, then begin adding bread cubes and continue blending until the soup is thickened to your liking.
Note: The quantity of bread cubes you add will depend on the density of the bread and how thick you like the soup. Italian bread, Cuban bread and French baguettes are all good choices to use for thickening. Leave the crust on for added flavor.
Once you get the consistency the way you like it, taste the soup and adjust the jalapeño, garlic and seasonings, blending after each addition.
Transfer to individual serving bowls, cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled (a minimum of 2 hours).
Mince some of the remaining cucumber and bell peppers for garnish and refrigerate along with the chopped parsley until ready to serve. You'll want about 6 tablespoons total.
Once the soup has chilled, top each serving with garnish and serve immediately.
Makes 4 servings (about 5 cups)
An Easy Way To Peel Tomatoes
We used to peel tomatoes the conventional way by plunging them first into boiling water, then into an ice bath, but the following technique is much easier, reliable and best of all, makes no dishes.
- Preheat the oven to 500°F and line a broiler pan with foil.
- Cut a small, thin slice from the bottom of each tomato, then cut them in half lengthwise and remove the core.
- Arrange the tomatoes cut side down on the foil.
- Using the tip of a sharp knife, score the skin of each tomato lengthwise.
- Place the tomatoes in the oven for 3 to 5 minutes, depending on their size. You'll know they're ready to be peeled when you see the gap where you scored the skin widen slightly.
- Remove the tomatoes from the oven and slide the foil off the hot broiler pan.
- As soon as they're cool enough to touch, peel the tomatoes from the center out.