Food & Drink

Best Gazpacho Recipes: Cool Soups For Summer

August 11, 2014 4:00 AM

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The classic gazpacho is the perfect dish to enjoy during a particularly warm summer evening. The cool temperature and bright vegetables are refreshing to the palate and you can use up a lot of the left-over ingredients you already have in your home. The dish has a variety of ethnic roots as well, dating back to Spain, Portugal, Italy and even the Middle East. Of course, since there are so many different cultures that enjoy this chilled vegetable soup, there are a lot of varieties to enjoy. Some are made with avocado, meat stock or even watermelon. Soaked bread is a traditional addition, which helps to give the soup the thick consistency it needs to feel like a hearty meal. Here are three great gazpacho recipes for you to try this summer.

Traditional Gazpacho

Photo Credit Thinkstock

Photo Credit Thinkstock

The classic recipe is made with tomatoes and leftover bread. The bread is used two ways here, first as the thickener in the soup and second as crispy croutons that you will fry up for some delicious garnish. Make sure to seed the tomatoes and cucumber for the perfect consistency in the soup. You can make this one a day ahead of time as well and refrigerate it over night.

Ingredients

  • Two cups day old bread, crust removed and cubed
  • One additional cup torn bread
  • Two cloves garlic
  • Two pounds ripe tomatoes, seeded
  • Salt and pepper
  • One large English cucumber, peeled and seeded
  • One one-inch slice green bell pepper
  • One cup cold water
  • Two teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • Half cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus a little more for drizzling

Directions

  1. Cover the torn bread with cold water and let soak for ten minutes.
  2. Add the garlic to a small saucepan and cover with water, bring to a boil and cook for three minutes then drain.
  3. Squeeze the water from the bread and transfer to a blender. Add the garlic, two teaspoons salt, tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper and
  4. vinegar. 
  5. Puree until smooth.
  6. While the blender is running, slowly pour in the oil until will blended.
  7. Blend in cold water.
  8. Season with salt and pepper, then refrigerate until cold, about three hours.
  9. While the soup is chilling heat a little more olive oil over medium heat until hot.
  10. Add the cubed bread and fry, tossing often until crispy.
  11. Season with salt and pepper.
  12. Serve the chilled gazpacho with a drizzle of olive oil and a few croutons. 

Related:Best Summer Salad Recipes

Fruit Gazpacho

Photo Credit Thinkstock

Photo Credit Thinkstock

A chilled fruit soup is the perfect way to start your day. With the yogurt and honey mixture on top, this is a refreshing dish for breakfast, a sweet dessert or an anytime snack. You can easily substitute your favorite fruits here as well, though the cantaloupe is the perfect fruit to keep the soup-like consistency.

Ingredients

  • Six cups cantaloupe, peeled and seeded and cut up into small pieces
  • One cup strawberries, stemmed and chopped
  • One peach, diced and seeded
  • Half-cup blueberries
  • Half-cup plain yogurt
  • One tablespoon fresh mint, finely chopped
  • One tablespoon honey

Directions

  1. In a food processor, puree the cantaloupe chunks until smooth.
  2. In a separate bowl mix the remaining fruit and the mind together.
  3. In another separate bowl blend the yogurt and honey.
  4. Pour the blended cantaloupe puree into a bowl, top with the additional fruit and the yogurt-honey mixture.

Spicy Gazpacho

Photo Credit Thinkstock

Photo Credit Thinkstock

Turn up the heat on some chilled gazpacho with some pickled jalapeños. Don’t rinse them to keep that great strong flavor when you blend all the ingredients. A little of sour cream is also a great garnish for this one, which will help cool the heat of the peppers. Add some toasted bread as croutons for additional crunch.

Ingredients

  • Two and half pounds ripe chopped tomatoes, seeded
  • Two pickled jalapeños, do not rinse
  • Two cloves garlic
  • One red pepper, chopped
  • Half a medium red onion, chopped
  • One English cucumber, chopped
  • One lime
  • One tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • Quarter-cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Half teaspoon cumin
  • Half cup chopped cilantro
  • Two teaspoons Worcester sauce
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Combine the garlic and jalapeños in a food processor until well diced.
  2. Add the tomatoes and pulse until the mixture is well blended but not liquid.
  3. Add onion, cucumber and bell pepper and pulse again until it is well blended.
  4. Transfer to a large bowl, squeeze the juice of the lime into the mixture.
  5. Add the olive oil, vinegar, Worcester sauce and cumin, stir until blended.
  6. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Cover and let chill for at least three hours or over night. 
  8. Garnish with the fresh cilantro for serving.

Deborah Flomberg is a theater professional, freelance writer and Denver native. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.

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