Gazpacho is the quintessential summer soup! This chilled, raw tomato and vegetable soup from Andalusia, Spain is made with the season’s best fresh produce. This recipe takes only 15 minutes to prep and is a great way to savour the taste of late summer! It’s easy, delicious and doesn’t require any cooking! Plus it’s a great make ahead recipe, as the vegetables can be chopped up and left to marinade in the fridge overnight. The flavor simply gets even better as it sits!
What is gazpacho?
Gazpacho is a traditional tomato-based soup from the Andalusia region of Southern Spain. It’s made with raw, blended vegetables and served chilled as a starter or light course with tapas. Traditional recipes call for tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, garlic, sweet onion, olive oil, vinegar, and often times bread, which can be used to thicken the soup. It’s flavor is refreshing which makes it the perfect thing to make, when the days are hot and fresh tomatoes are at still at their peak.
Using bread in this recipe
This recipe differs from the traditional Andalusian gazpacho as it contains no bread. Bread gives this traditional Spanish soup a unique texture, and can be added if desired. Simple cut away the crust from a slice of leftover bread (e.g. stale sourdough), then soak it in the vinegar, before adding it to the vegetables for blending.
To make this homemade gazpacho recipe, you will need:
- Ripe tomatoes: Tomatoes form the base of this raw soup so you want to use the best tomatoes you can find. Fresh, ripe and juicy tomatoes are the way to go. The best are vine-ripened plum (roma) tomatoes or heirloom tomatoes. If you can, look for local tomatoes at your farmers market.
- Onion: Sweet and savoury onions are the best choice. I like to use either green onions (the white and light green part), bulbous spring onions or white Vidalia onions. You could also use red onions, as the onion flavor will mellow as the soup chills in the fridge.
- Cucumber: Juicy cucumber adds another layer of fresh flavor. If the cucumber has a tick skin then peel it. For this reason, I like to use thin skinned mini cucumbers.
- Red bell pepper: this Spanish soup wouldn’t be complete without sweet bell pepper. Orange or yellow bell pepper can also be used.
- Garlic: One large clove. More if you like.
- Fresh basil: Adding some fresh basil leaves when serving this soup makes it even more irresistible.
- Olive oil: Good quality extra-virgin olive oil is the way to go.
- Sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar: A small splash of vinegar brings this soup to life.
- Seasonings: Salt, pepper and a pinch of cayenne. The latter being optional, but a great addition.
Best gazpacho recipe tips
Marinating the vegetables. The way I learned to make gazpacho is from my Swiss-German friend. By marinating the chopped vegetables in the fridge overnight before blending together the soup. This helps bring out all those delicious, natural flavours. And leftovers are great. The soup becomes more flavorful the longer it chills, meaning it tastes fantastic on day 3!
Blending the soup.
Work in batches if necessary. Depending on the size of your blender you may need to work in batches to blend all of the soup. If you have a high-powered blender you will get a nice and creamy soup. It make it even more refined you can strain it using a fine mesh strainer.
Chill the soup well before serving it.
I recommend chilling it for at least 2 hours before you serve it. This allows the flavors time to meld even further. You’ll be rewarded with a more balanced, complex, and refreshing soup.
If you like this recipe, you might like one of these soup recipes
Spanish chilled Gazpacho soup is a wonderful make-ahead summer recipe that just gets better with time. Serve with bread for a light and delicious lunch. Choose organic, regional produce when possible.
For the soup:
- 3 mini cucumbers, seeded, and sliced (300 g) (or 1 large cucumber, peeled if skin is thick, then seeded)
- 1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and cut into wedges
- 1 kg very ripe tomatoes, preferably heirloom or plum, seeded and cut into wedges
- 1 large garlic clove, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 2 green onions, white and light green only (50g)
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar, or to taste
- Fresh basil leaves, to serve
- 1/2 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and finely chopped
- Cherry tomatoes, halved or diced
- A drizzle of aged balsamic vinegar
Add the chopped vegetables to a large glass or ceramic bowl. Season well with salt and pepper. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and mix together with your hands, pressing down to squeeze out the juices. Cover and chill in the fridge. Leave the mixture to marinade for at least 30 mins or overnight (12-24 hours is best).
Blend the soup in batches using a high speed blender (alternatively use a immersion blender).
Strain the soup through a fine mesh strainer using the back of a ladle to push it through the strainer. This step is optional but recommended as it will give the soup a smoother, more velvety texture.
Add the cayenne pepper, vinegar (to taste) and dash of olive oil, and season again with salt and pepper.
Cover and chill again until really cold. Once ready to serve, taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary,
Serve with fresh basil leaves and other optional garnishes. Enjoy!
- Don’t worry too much about the exact weights they are meant to be a guide.
- You can make this soup up to four days in advance and store it in the refrigerator.
- See more tips above.
For a relaxing atmosphere in the kitchen I recommend my personal Elle Republic: Chilled Out Kitchen Tunes Playlist on Spotify.
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