The best gazpacho recipe starts with the best tomatoes. Heirloom tomatoes are incredibly sweet, making them a great candidate for gazpacho soup that’s bright, flavorful, and perfect for summer. This version comes together quickly and includes classic ingredients like cucumbers, red bell peppers, red onions, garlic, white wine vinegar and olive oil.
At some point, I think everyone realizes that not all tomatoes are created equal. There’s a reason I use fresh tomatoes in the summer while mostly sticking with canned tomatoes during the winter (this is when I break out my tomato bisque and Pappa Al Pomodoro).
We’ve all tasted grocery store tomatoes that are mealy and flavorless. Those tomatoes don’t belong on your sandwich, let alone in gazpacho!
On the other hand, heirloom tomatoes are typically sweet, beautifully unique, and perfect for serving raw on a salad or sandwich. Since gazpacho is traditionally prepared from raw ingredients, heirlooms are a great choice.
- Heirloom tomatoes
- Red bell peppers
- Seedless cucumber
- Red onion
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Tomato juice
- White wine vinegar
What are Heirloom Tomatoes?
Heirloom tomatoes, also known as heritage tomatoes in the UK, are open-pollenated tomatoes that have been passed down through generations.
They have a shorter shelf life than most other tomatoes. Many heirlooms are missing the genetic mutation that give tomatoes their typical red color. They’re also often much sweeter.
Also, they’re totally gorgeous.
How to Make Gazpacho
Sometimes I’m in the mood for a gazpacho that’s silky and smooth, like my roasted tomato gazpacho. However, that version takes more time to make since everything needs to be cooked. When I’m preparing a more authentic gazpacho recipe with raw ingredients, I prefer a lot of texture.
A friend once told me she likes to chew on her gazpacho, and I’m the same way. Since the ingredients won’t all fit into a food processor or blender at once, I pulse them individually in order to have to total control over the texture of each one.
I pulse the tomatoes until they’re partially pureed. After this step, I transfer the tomatoes into a large bowl, making room for the next ingredient.
For the red pepper and cucumber, I prefer to leave more texture. Mmmmm chewy soup!
I also leave the cucumber unpeeled for maximum texture, but you can peel it if you prefer.
You can also chop the red onion using the same method as above, but I like to puree it with the garlic and olive oil, making a smooth liquid to combine with the other ingredients.
- Gazpacho tastes very different after the flavors have a chance to mingle in the refrigerator for at least 6-8 hours. Taste it for seasoning, but I recommend waiting to truly enjoy it. You may need to re-season after 8 hours.
- As I said, I like a very textured gazpacho. However, you can puree all of the ingredients for a smoother soup. Adding tomato juice to the food processor along with the vegetables will help smooth them out, as will peeling the cucumbers.
- One time I accidentally purchased 100% vegetable juice instead of tomato juice (think V8). I hate to admit it, but the results were tasty. I typically stick with pure tomato juice, but it’s an option.
- I store my gazpacho in this pitcher. This recipe fits perfectly.
Gazpacho is such a beautiful soup on its own, but it looks even more amazing when you garnish it with some color. Here are a few of my favorite garnishes to mix and match:
- Any of the vegetables from the recipe, chopped finely (cucumbers, red onion, etc)
- Diced avocados
- Croutons (I recommend making your own)
- Sliced scallions or chives
- Freshly-cracked black pepper
- A small dollop of sour cream or crème fraîche
- Crostini topped with olive tapenade
- Crusty artisan bread for dipping
- Fish or shellfish (this sheet pan shrimp scampi would be perfect)
- Tapas: Jamón serrano, chorizo, patatas bravas
- Mini Zucchini Ricotta Galettes
- Cheddar Chive Crackers
- Spinach, Artichoke and Caramelized Leek Tart
Want to experiment with a more unique gazpacho? I’ve got a fruit gazpacho recipes you might want to consider!
Looking For More Tomato Recipes?
- 4 medium or 3 large heirloom tomatoes (approximately 2 pounds), cored and coarsely chopped
- 2 medium red peppers, stemmed, seeded and coarsely chopped
- 1 large seedless cucumber, unpeeled, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 small red onion coarsely chopped (1/3 - 1/2 cup)
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cups tomato juice (vegetable juice may be substituted)
- 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, or to taste
- Optional garnishes: diced avocado, sliced scallions, a small dollop of sour cream or crème fraîche (omit for vegan soup)
- Add the tomatoes to a food processor and pulse or puree until the desired texture is reached. Pour into a large bowl. Repeat the same process with the red peppers and cucumber, adding each ingredient to the same bowl.
- Add the red onion and garlic to the food processor and pulse several times. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl and pulse again. If a thinner/smoother texture is desired, pour some of the olive oil into the food processor while the machine is running, which will create a puree. Scrape the contents into the bowl with the other vegetables.
- Stir in the remaining olive oil, tomato juice, and white wine vinegar. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight so the flavors have a chance to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings again if needed.
- Serve chilled. Gazpacho keeps in the refrigerator for up to one week, but will taste best within 4-5 days.
Please read my full post for additional recipe notes, tips, and serving suggestions!
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