Learning to make gazpacho may well be one of the more notable stops on the road to becoming an Everyday Chef. It's slightly astonishing that something this flavorful could be so darn healthy and so easy to make. Hailing from Andalusia, Spain, Gazpacho actually has several incarnations, but is most commonly made as a tomato-based soup served cold or at room temperature. Far from its popular hot relative, tomato soup, gazpacho is a fresh soup--that is, it is uncooked--and though tomatoes often make up the dominant color of the dish, it is chock full of other delightfully tangy, spicy fresh vegetables like onions, peppers, cucumbers and fresh herbs.
There are hundreds of slightly different, but still very tasty recipes for gazpacho out there. We love the recipe that the Domestic Diva makes, which we've included here, but before you jump in, here are a few Everyday Chef considerations:
- It can be smooth, or chunky depending on your preferences and available kitchen tools. If you have a food processor, it's awfully easy to put all the rough cut ingredients in and press pulse, but if not, or if you prefer greater texture to your soup, you can combine small diced pieces for a chunkier version.
- You can add canned tomatoes or tomato juice to your fresh tomatoes, or not. Many recipes call for some kind of cooked tomato product (like canned tomatoes or tomato juice) in addition to the fresh tomatoes. These cooked products will add complex and rich tomato flavor to the soup. However, if you don't have any around, or if you don't want to, it's not necessary to add the additional tomato product to your soup--you can simply add more fresh tomatoes to the mix.
- Gazpacho is fun! This is a great dish to play around with. Make it multiple times with different ingredients--especially different herbs, and see how the flavor changes.
- 3 to 5 large tomatoes, chopped—retain as much juice as possible
- 3 to 5 medium or large cucumbers, peeled and chopped
- 1 large sweet onion, chopped
- 1 to 2 sweet peppers, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 3 tbsp tomato paste
- ½ bunch fresh herbs—parsley, cilantro, tarragon or basil, your choice
- 1 large jar canned tomatoes (can be omitted—instead add more diced fresh tomatoes—or substitute with one 16 oz San Marzano canned tomatoes)
- ½ cup seasoned rice vinegar or red wine vinegar
- 1 lemon or lime, zested and juiced
- Several dashes of hot sauce or to taste (if desired)
- A good pinch of Kosher salt and pepper to taste
- A good drizzle of olive oil
Combine all ingredients in food processor and pulse until combined. Immersion or stick blenders or blenders also work well, as do hand mixers, or just leave the soup chunky. Chill and serve.