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Summer Series: Gazpacho

As old as the hills, gazpacho has its roots in the southern city of Andalusia, Spain. Originating amongst the peasants (as all good food does) laboring in vineyards, citrus groves, and olive plantations, gazpacho was concocted with “on hand” ingredients… Tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, week old bread, oil, garlic and salt… Served cold.

A Spanish refrain says, “De gazpacho no hay empacho”-there is never enough gazpacho. Ain’t that the truth! In the midst of the dog days of summer, there is a sea of tomatoes at the farmers markets and all I could think about was gazpacho this week. Truth be told, I’ve never actually made gazpacho. I called about five restaurants in Paris to see if they had gazpacho and to my surprise, no one did. So, I decided this would be the week to make our own homemade gazpacho. Mission accomplished. I now have an entire freezer filled with a winter’s worth of gazpacho.

Gazpacho is a no-brainer but there are some tips to make it the best:

             Week old bread is the best to use

             Just because this is considered a cold soup, that doesn’t mean it should be served icy cold. Cool room temperature is best.

             Use the ripest, freshest tomatoes you can find and don’t refrigerate them.

             Let the flavors have some time to blend. Best to make the soup in the morning.

             Add a dollop of fresh crab to finish.

             Make your own garlicky, herbed croutons to finish

As usual, I have a few recipes to share. The first comes from my friend, Heather, from Lost in Arles blog. Heather and her husband have planted oodles of tomatoes in their Provence garden and she has shared her gazpacho recipe with us…


Heather's Gazpacho Recipe...
"Core and rough chop four to five big 'ol  tomatoes and  transfer into a bowl - leave  the juices on the board. Rip up two good sized  pieces of preferably day-old bread without the  crusts (I also use those dry  mini apero  toasts for bulk). Transfer the tomatoes into the food  processor  (I like thick style, if you  don't then of course use your blender), put the  bread in the tomato bowl and transfer tomato  juices on top, mix and let sit.
While the juice is softening the bread, peel and rough chop 2  medium  cucumbers, either 1 big shallot or 1  red onion and the garlic (your call, as  I am  a garholic I use 4-5!). Add the soaked bread and pulse with  the  tomatoes until it is porridge - not too  much. Then add the cukes,  shallot/onion,  garlic and 2-3 tablespoons Xeres vinager (or you could do  one red wine and one balsalmic), salt (I like  coarse for this) and a liberal  dose of  Worchestire - blend until mixed. Then, keeping it running on  low,  add in 1/2 cup of olive oil until  incorporated. Taste and adjust, scrape  down  the sides and then turn it up and let it mix on high until  you are  happy with it. Put in the fridge -  hopefully overnight - and add whatever  strikes your fancy for the presentation but I  like just a bit of mint and  maybe and extra  swirl of olive oil. I know that other traditional recipes  call for red pepper, which I love but for me it  makes it too acidic." -Heather
Now that we have the basic gazpacho recipe down let’s kick it up a notch…

 Cucumber Wasabi Gazpacho. Click HERE for recipe.
 Moroccan Carrot Gazpacho. Click HERE for recipe.

Creamy Corn Gazpacho. Click HERE for recipe.
VoilĂ ! Gazpacho. Stay tuned for the next Summer Series. Hint: Hedera



  1. I love gazpacho. My Mother is from Spain and I grew up with this delicious soup. We have horrible horrible tomatoes in Miami. Really a crime. My husband tries to grow them and some years we are lucky and have some good ones. This year was not a good year for his tomato garden. :( There is another version of gazpacho that I am tempted to make which I first tried in the South of Spain and that is the white gazpacho. It does not have any tomatoes instead it uses almonds, garlic and grapes. Here is one recipe I found:
    Thanks for another lovely post. Enjoy your awesome tomatoes! xoxoxo Elena

  2. I have been living on gazpacho this summer, for lunch and dinner and snacks! I don't bother with the bread, and no peppers, like Heather's, but I throw in a little bit of sriracha (hot) sauce, and sometimes cilantro. This time I added a couple of dollops of onion/garlic jam that someone had given me - because my fridge is way to full of condiments - and it was yummy!

  3. Have you seen Almodovar's film "Women on the verge of a nervous breakdown"? A gazpacho plays an important role in the film!
    Its hilarious and sweet. I am always happy when I read a new post from you. (thank you for your answers)
    Maria from Athens-Greece

  4. How delish!! I can't wait to try these out!! There are Lots of ripe tomatoes ready to use in our family!

    The Arts by Karena

  5. I have NEVER had it!Can you believe that?Our tomatoes did not come in this year as the watering system failed and we just gave up with the drought and all.BUT I WILL CERTAINLY SEARCH OUT SOME GOOD TOMATOES AND GIVE MY BUDDY'S RECIPE A TRY!!! I am off to work today........hotter then HELL here.HEAT WAVE...........other then that nothing of VALUE to share.I feel I am BORING these days..............better UP my GAME!XOXO

  6. I enjoyed a cool gazpacho on the deck of Poets Cove Resort on Pender was heavenly. I have never made it but now that you have shared these recipes I have no excuse whatsoever! Thank you!
    Is the weather still really hot in Paris?

  7. I love gazpacho. Thank you for reminding me that I should make some.

  8. I'm not sure if you'll find this concerning or brilliant--or a little bit of both. But my favorite (uh...okay...only) way I enjoy gazpacho is as a cocktail. Gazpacho+gin (or vodka if you have an aversion to gin)+ a little tonic or soda water. It is so wonderful. The natural question is: doesn't it just taste like a Bloody Mary? No. It's so much better. I make my gazpacho with lots of cucumber, watermelon, tomato, and tons of vinegar and basil. It's such a crisp, summery cocktail. And loaded with antioxidants, right? So it's medicinal. I guess my gazpacho contribution is to not really make gazpacho, but make a cocktail base instead and call it gazpacho :)
    But speaking of summer produce, I stumbled onto pure brilliance this past weekend. I was making BLTs and made the easiest and most wonderful condiment. 1/2 cup Mayonnaise+a generous splash (let's say 2t) of red wine vinegar+1 Tablespoon Old Bay. Oh my god it was so good. It was lunch for five and the mayonnaise was practically being squeegeed out of the bowl. It was, indeed, proof that the only thing WASPs love more than gin is mayonnaise.

    1. Stephen, can I just tell you that I adore you for the millionth time? Because, obviously, put booze in it! Why didn't I ever think of this before?? Plus, that condiment makes me whimper - I think I am going to have to ask my Mom to bring me some Old Bay when she comes to visit in September!

      And Ellie, I am impolite. :( I forgot to thank you for the link over to my place - muchos gracias Amiga!