Test Kitchen Tips
For years, the only gazpacho on restaurant menus was tomato based, but now you’ll often find almond, grape and melon versions too. This perfect hot-weather soup is simply a salad in liquid form, which means it’s one of the easiest dishes to make. All you need to get started is a blender and some super-tasty, juicy tomatoes, cut into large chunks.
- The tomatoes that are sold bagged at the end of the day at farmers’ markets are ideal, but a mix of heirlooms would be perfect, too.
- An easy rule of thumb is three parts tomatoes to one part other ingredients, such as red, yellow and green bell peppers, onions, garlic, scallions, peeled cucumbers and seedless watermelon, all cut into chunks. I sometimes add parsley, cilantro or any other leafy herbs that I have in the fridge.
- Pack the vegetables in the blender, starting with the tomatoes because they’re the juiciest. Add a good splash of red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar and a bigger splash of extra-virgin olive oil and season with salt and freshly ground pepper, then puree until chunky or smooth.
- If you want to make a really thick gazpacho, soak a few pieces of country bread in water, squeeze dry and add them to the blender along with the vegetables.
- Pour the gazpacho into a bowl and season the soup to taste with salt and pepper and additional vinegar and olive oil. At this point, you can refrigerate it overnight. Serve it on its own or garnished with a drizzle of olive oil, finely diced vegetables, a dollop of tapenade or pesto, crisp croutons, crabmeat, poached shrimp or lobster.—Tina Ujlaki, Executive Food Editor
Classic Gazpacho Recipes
Master griller Steven Raichlen makes this gazpacho by laying the vegetables directly on hot coals (F&W adapted the recipe for a gas grill). This cooking method imparts a smoky flavor to his vibrant soup.
Chef Trey Foshee refines a classic gazpacho recipe by pureeing the soup in his Vita-Mix blender until silky and smooth. For gazpacho with a little crunch, serve with diced tomatoes, cucumbers and red peppers, or some crostini on the side.
This is chunky version of Spain’s most popular soup. If you prefer a smoother variety, puree it and pass it through a food mill or coarse sieve.
Brothers Matt and Ted Lee created this gazpacho as a riff on a recipe from The Virginia Housewife, a seminal Southern cookbook first published in 1824 that is still in print. They sweeten the cold tomato soup with watermelon and make it fiery with habanero and poblano chiles.
This cool, sweet-tangy riff on the Spanish staple was inspired by an abundance of watermelons from a farm on Nantucket.
Daniel Humm’s ingenious gazpacho—a simplified version of a soup he serves at his haute New York City restaurant, Eleven Madison Park—combines pureed juicy bing cherries with tangy red wine vinegar and peppery Tabasco, all topped with elegant croutons.
Most people think tomato when they hear gazpacho, but there’s no tomato in sight here. This healthy recipe calls for cauliflower, cucumber and almonds.
This version of Spain’s classic White Gazpacho features cucumber and green grapes, thickened with a few luscious marcona almonds to add a silky creaminess.
Green Zebras are heirloom tomatoes with a striped pattern; they are sweet like red tomatoes but give this gazpacho a lovely jade hue. To make the chilled soup extra tangy, use tomatillos or unripe red tomatoes instead of Green Zebras.
Before the Spanish arrived in Mexico in the 1500s, they had never even seen a tomato, much less cooked with one. The Old Country gazpacho got its color from cucumbers, and once you’ve tried it you’ll understand why the green version is still preferred over the red in some quarters. If you’re using this uncooked soup as a first course instead of a main dish, it will serve six.
Originally gazpacho was a peasant dish, made with leftover bread, garlic, water, olive oil and vinegar. But when Spanish explorers returned from the New World with tomatoes and peppers, gazpacho evolved into the summer soup we know today.
This gazpacho is a foolproof recipe, but, tasting it, you’d never know how easy it is to make. As long as you have a blender (it doesn’t work as well in a food processor) and really great tomatoes, this refreshing gazpacho is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.
Yellow tomatoes give chef John Fleer’s “summer in a cup” soup a refreshing tang; leftovers can be frozen in an ice-cube tray and added to Bloody Marys.
Twists on Gazpacho
Andy Nusser teases apart all the elements of a traditional Spanish gazpacho—tomatoes, vinegar, bread and olive oil—to recombine them in a summery salad with real zing. He candies cherry tomatoes in a cinnamon-and-chile-spiked syrup.
The blender makes instant work of this cold Spanish soup. Since gazpacho improves with age, make it ahead of time whenever possible. Although the olive oil is optional in this recipe, it adds real dimension to the flavor and texture of the soup.
Chef Philippe Braun created this soft, slightly spicy tomato jelly topped with an unctuous avocado cream. One of Joël Robuchon’s closest associates, Braun travels with the master to keep standards high at outposts in Las Vegas, Tokyo and New York City.
Joe Vitale adds apple cider vinegar to his garlicky, jalapeño-flecked gazpacho as a nod to Napa history. Napa was planted with apple trees, as well as peach and plum trees, before anyone thought to grow wine grapes.