Chill, and don’t be in the soup.
Psst! Some shortcuts just for you...
August 14, 2020
Cook: 5h 0min
Wander a few steps from the traditional version of this chilled soup by leaving out the bread and keeping the vegetables chopped instead of pureeing them. Go one step further by substituting shallots for onions. Let it all meld a while and you’ll have a harmonious bowl of gazpacho to enjoy on a hot day.
The world of chilled soup blows my mind. Normally soup is incredible in the dead of winter and torture for the tongue on a sunny summer day. Cold soup is the complete opposite. If this is your first chilled soup, welcome. Don’t let this one be the only one you try. Find the peach soups, the yogurt soups, the avocado soups, and the sweet corn soups, and your picnics will go from meh to ‘mazing.
There are two “B” words that are lacking in this gazpacho recipe: bread and blender. Let’s start with bread. I will admit I was completely surprised when I first learned that real, authentic, genuine, bona fide gazpacho features stale bread. Ignorance happens, you know. This version intentionally omits bread, but definitely try out some of the more authentic gazpacho recipes to get a taste of the real deal.
On to the blender. Gazpacho is normally pureed and thin enough so that it is sometimes even served in drink form. Again, this version strays from tradition and nearly cuts out all of the pureeing. I say nearly because you will puree a small quantity of the tomatoes to add to the liquid base. As indicated by the title, the majority of the vegetables are chopped and remain in that chopped state until the spoonful hits your mouth. I’m not against pureed gazpacho, but I’m definitely all for the texture and crispness of this chopped variation. So much that I decided to feature it here.
After a few years of making gazpacho with onions and feeling like the intensity of the onion flavor more often than not dominated in comparison to other present flavors, I decided to try leaving it out. The result was unsatisfactory. So what did I do? I tried shallots. When raw, I tend to prefer shallots over onions. The flavor is a bit sweeter and the intensity a bit less harsh. With that said, feel free to substitute onion for shallot.
When you combine all the ingredients in a bowl, make sure the bowl is non-reactive. The safest thing to do is to use a glass or ceramic bowl. Stainless steel should be okay, but what if you have that metal bowl in your drawer you think is stainless steel, and it’s really aluminum?? Combine tomatoes and aluminum and you’re talking discoloration, bitterness, and metal-flavored gazpacho. And that’s not cool. So, my suggestion is to go with glass or ceramic.
If you look at practically any gazpacho recipe you’ll see somewhere in the instructions an indication that the soup needs to sit, usually in the refrigerator, for at least a few hours before being consumed. Here I am, another voice on the internet, telling you that your soup definitely needs to sit for at least a few hours before being consumed. During that time, the individual vegetables come together, hold hands, and blend in a way that results in an incredibly balanced spoonful of flavors.
(click each step as you go to keep track of your progress)
Finished and want to make it again?
- Prep time: 20min
- Cook time: 5h 0min
- Serving size: 4
- 1 large cucumber, peeled and diced
- 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 1 medium shallot, minced
- 1 kg (2 lbs) ripe beefsteak tomatoes
- 2 small garlic cloves, minced or pressed
- 240 mL (1 cup) tomato juice
- 30 mL (2 Tbsp) white wine vinegar
- 15 mL (1 Tbsp) olive oil + more for serving
- 15 mL (1 Tbsp) lemon juice
- 80 mL (1/3 cup) cold water
- 1.5 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
In a large glass or stainless-steel bowl, combine cucumber, bell pepper, shallot, and garlic.
Remove the seeds and juice from the inside of the tomatoes. Put the seeds and juice into a medium bowl. Take two of the now seeded tomatoes, coarsely chop, and add to the bowl. Use an immersion or stand blender to puree the tomato innards and two chopped tomatoes. Add the puree to the bowl of diced vegetables.
Dice the remaining tomatoes and add to the bowl.
Add the tomato juice, vinegar, olive oil, lemon juice, cold water, salt, and black pepper. Stir to combine.
Cover bowl and refrigerate for about 5 hours.
After refrigeration, add additional salt if needed. Serve in bowls and top with a drizzle of olive oil. Pair with ham, hard-boiled eggs, and a loaf of crusty bread.
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