Gazpacho is a Spanish cold soup traditionally made with bread, tomato, cucumber, bell pepper, onion, garlic, olive oil, wine vinegar and topped with fresh bell peppers, diced tomatoes and cucumber (or any other fresh ingredient). This soup is adaptable (the variations are endless!) and perfect for hot summer days... or when you just don't feel like putting your apron on and spending a lot of time in the kitchen (in front of a burning-hot oven!). The kids and I love to throw whatever vegetables (or fruits!) we have on hand in our high speed blender (aka our ten-year-old-almost-dead-Vitamix!) to make cold soups!
The success of this soup relies mainly rely on the toppings. They add crunchiness, flavor and extra fun to the recipe! Here are my favorite ideas of garnishes and variations for this recipe :
- The traditional gazpacho : serve this soup with crunchy over-toasted croutons or homemade toasted tortillas triangles, finely chopped vegetables (cucumber, bell peppers and tomatoes, red onion), fresh basil or parsley, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, freshly grounded black pepper and sea salt
- My favorite version : replace half the tomatoes with watermelon and serve with thin slices (use a mandoline or a sharp knife) of fennel, cherry tomatoes and small watermelon cubes
- The yellow gazpacho : replace the red tomatoes with yellow tomatoes and top with mango cubes, cherry tomatoes and cilantro
- The strawberry gazpacho : replace half the tomatoes with fresh strawberries and serve with fresh chopped strawberries, fresh basil and freshly grounded black pepper
- The hearty gazpacho : serve this cold soup with a big spoon of yogurt, spicy roasted chickpeas (see my recipe here), diced avocados and cherry tomatoes
- The fancy gazpacho : serve this recipe with crumbled feta, thin radish slices and fresh baby sprouts
As I said, most of the traditional gazpacho recipes uses bread to thicken the soup, but since I wanted to make a raw and gluten free version, I just skipped that ingredient. You could still decide to add a small piece of bread or even a slice of gluten-free bread if you want your soup to hold more.
In this particular recipe I only used fresh tomatoes, but if you want a bright red soup or if you just want to intensify the "tomato flavor", you can also add tomato juice or paste. Refrigerate the gazpacho for a few hours or overnight will allow the flavors to fully develop (but it's not necessary!).
This recipe is a winner for the whole family!
Heirloom tomatoes gazpacho
Yield : 4-6 servings
- 7-8 ripe tomatoes (about 6 cups diced tomatoes), coarsely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2-3 tablespoons red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
- 3-4 tablespoons red onion, minced
- 1/2 english cucumber (about 1 cup diced cucumber) + more for garnish
- 1/2 red, yellow or orange bell pepper, finely chopped + more for garnish
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 slice of bread (or gluten-free bread) for a thicker soup - optional
- 1 small jalapeño pepper or a few drops of Tabasco - to taste (add a little at a time)
- Garnish : cherry tomatoes sliced in half, fresh basil, thin slices of red onion, olive oil, diced cucumber and bell peppers etc. (more suggestions above)
- Place all the ingredients in a high speed blender (or quality blender) and blend until completely smooth. If your blender is not large enough, you may have to blend the ingredients in two batches.
- You normally don't have to add any liquid if you use ripe and "juicy" tomatoes, but feel free to add water if you think your soup is too thick or tomato juice if you want to intensify the tomato flavor and a bright red color!
- Place in the fridge until cool or serve immediately.
- Garnish with your favorite toppings.