Thursday, July 10, 2014

Gazpacho: The Perfect Summer Soup

If you aren't familiar with Gazpacho, now is the time to get acquainted with this delicious soup! Gazpacho is my favorite summer soup because it's full of flavor and very refreshing to eat. It's a tomato based soup, that is made with raw vegetables and is served cold. Gazpacho originated in Southern Spain and helped people cool down during hot summer days.

Years ago you couldn't get me to eat a cold soup. My thought back then was that soup is a comfort food, thus should only be eaten warm. Plus the texture of a cold soup simply turned me off. Until one day, our friends Tony and Sheila made Gazpacho as their first course for our Gourmet Dinner Club. I remember thinking "oh no, cold soup and it's gourmet so I have to try it!" I hesitantly took my first bite and immediately said "oh my gosh this cold soup is amazing!" I think I had two helpings that night it was that good. Thank you Tony and Sheila for eliminating my crazy aversion to cold soups! If you aren't a fan of cold soups, give this a try and it may change your opinion like it did mine.

What I love most about Gazpacho is that it's the freshest tasting soup. Nothing is cooked so the flavors are at their highest peak. Gazpacho is made with tomatoes, cucumber, red pepper, red onion and garlic. The veggies are finely chopped in a food processor and then tomato juice and white wine vinegar is added. My father-in-law was over while I was making it and he could smell the cold soup from the other end of the kitchen. The aroma of this raw soup smells like you are in the middle of a salad garden. It's vegetarian, paleo friendly and super healthy for you. You feel good after eating it, like you are doing your body good. So it's healthy AND tastes delicious!

The other thing I love most about this soup is that it's served raw and that means no cooking is involved and that means not having to turn on the oven or stove….gotta love a recipe like that on a hot summer day! Plus, it's a chilled soup so eating it will be sure to cool you down. It's refreshing and light. I always make a double batch so I have leftovers the next day. In fact, it tastes better the next day because the flavors have a chance to really meld and come together. So it's a great make ahead soup if you are having guests over.

There are several recipes out there and I've tried a few but my favorite by far is a recipe from Ina Garten.  Many gazpacho recipes either tastes like you're eating salsa because it's too chunky or like you're eating tomato soup because it's too pureed. The texture in Ina's soup is the perfect balance! Make sure to follow this recipe exactly to get the best results.

So cool off this summer and make yourself some Gazpacho Soup. It's refreshing, healthy, and full of the best summer ingredients. Salute to Gazpacho, the perfect summer soup!

Gazpacho Soup - By Ina Garten (Click to print recipe)
Preparation time: 30 minutes

Serves 6 


  • 1 hothouse cucumber, halved and seeded, but not peeled
  • 2 red bell peppers, cored and seeded
  • 4 plum tomatoes ( I used beefsteak)
  • 1 red onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 cups tomato juice
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup good olive oil
  • 1/2 tb kosher salt
  • 1 t freshly ground black pepper
Roughly chop the cucumber, bell peppers, tomatoes, and red onions into 1 inch cubes. Put each vegetable separately into a food processor fitted with a steal blade and pulse until its coarsely chopped. Do not over process! 

After each vegetable is processed, combine them in a large bowl and add the garlic, tomato juice, vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. Mix well and chill before serving. The longer the gazpacho chills, the more the flavor develop.

Food Impressions:

Nate: Didn't have any tonight, for whatever reason he said he just wasn't in the mood. You know what that means, more for me!

Tyler: "This is soup is "souper" Get it? Very clever of him to say! He said it well after dinner. Oh and he had two bowls.

Zachary: "We haven't had this soup in a while. You should make it more it's so good."

Dave: Very refreshing and flavorful. It has a really fresh taste.

Wally: My father-in-law stopped over to give me birthday flowers while I was making this soup..I gave him a bowl to take home and told him to eat it the next day so the flavors had a chance to meld. He texted me the next day and said "This soup is a keeper."

Andrea: Four words: LOVE this cold soup!

1 comment:

  1. Love that you enjoyed the gazpacho! If it wasn't for gourmet club we would have never ventured into the cold soup territory either!