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Easy Gazpacho Recipe (smooth or chunky)

This healthy, easy gazpacho recipe screams summer freshness. And it satisfies those who prefer their gazpacho smooth or chunky. Spoon it or sip it.

Gazpacho is essentially a tomato and vegetable soup that originates from the region of Andalusia in Spain. The core ingredients are tomatoes, cucumber, onion, olive oil, garlic, peppers and vinegar.

martini glasses with gazpacho on wooden table with pitcher of gazpacho

There are lots of different versions out there. Some have the texture of thin tomato juice. Others are closer to a salsa. Some are made with bread. Others with ice.

I settled on a 5-star New York Times ‘best gazpacho recipe‘ and made a few tweaks. I inadvertently landed on a way to serve it two ways – chunky or smooth. And I made an adjustment or two based on the the 5000! comments.

The easy gazpacho recipe below is light (but not watery thin) and has a wonderful fresh garden flavor. Olive oil transforms it from a tomato V8-type juice to a smooth silky gazpacho soup or drink. And, for those want to add some bulk, the recipe creates that too.

Gazpacho is a healthy, low calorie appetizer, soup or startergluten free and vegan. The fresh vegetables make it rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber.

An all around vibrant summer treat that comes together in 20 minutes (plus chill time).

Tips for how to make gazpacho

  • Someone suggested adding vodka for a Bloody Mary gazpacho. Interesting!
  • Use a good quality olive oil. Here’s a basic 101 on cooking oils.
  • If your tomatoes are not that ripe, add a tablespoon of tomato paste for a deeper flavor. You might need to add a pinch of sugar as well.
  • If you are straining the vegetable mixture and don’t plan to serve it on the side, use it for soups, bruschetta or to add to rice.
  • Since gazpacho is not cooked, it’s a good idea to remove the greenish germ/sprout in the middle of the garlic which tends to be bitter.

How to serve gazpacho

Dress it up in elegant scotch glasses, espresso cups, decorative bowls or martini glasses. Or keep in casual in paper cups for a picnic. Last weekend, I served it with our homemade easy naan recipe. Gazpacho transports easily in a thermos carafe to a potluck or BBQ.

Tailor To Your Taste

Here are several variations you can try.

Substitutions/Options

    • I prefer sweet red pepper. Some use green. Regarding hot peppers, use cubanelle (mild), anaheim (mild-medium) or jalapeno (medium), depending on the amount of heat you like. Remove seeds and ribs.
    • Use any mild sweet onion or shallots. I use green onions as I usually have those on hand. In fact, Spaniards don’t use onion at all.
    • You need some type of vinegar. I like fortified wine or sherry vinegar, but white or red wine vinegar is fine. Even rice wine or lemon juice will work.
    • Good tomato options are cherry, field, vine ripe, San Marzano or heirloom. I don’t bother peeling the tomatoes, especially when the solids are strained. You can, though.

Garnishes

    • reserved vegetable solids (after straining) for a chunky version
    • herbs – cilantro, parsley, mint, basil
    • finely chopped fresh peaches or avocado
    • croutons
    • microgreens
    • crab
    • drizzle of olive oil

Shortcut

  • Skip the straining if you don’t mind your gazpacho with some finely chopped solids. It’s really just personal preference.

Make Ahead

  • Gazpacho is best served cold. Two hours in the fridge will do. Or speed up the process by putting it in a metal bowl in the freezer for 45 minutes.
  • The gazpacho will keep in the fridge for 4-5 days
  • It can even be frozen but you may need to re-blend it for a minute.
tomatoes, pepper, cucumber, green onion, garlic, sherry, garlic, salt, olive oil, jalapeno
Ingredients: tomatoes, pepper, cucumber, green onion, garlic (germ removed), sherry, garlic, salt, olive oil, jalapeno
vegetables chopped in a pot
Chop vegetables and place in blender or large bowl/pot if using immersion stick blender
vegetable mixture blended with immersion blender
Blend vegetables with sherry and salt until almost pureed but not quite.
vegetable mixture straining in a sieve
Strain mixture over a bowl, pressing down with a spoon to extract as much juice as possible.
oil pouring into strained vegetable mixture to blend in with immersion mixture in bowl
Slowly add oil to strained vegetable mixture while blender is running to emulsify/thicken.
glass pitcher of gazpacho and bowl of vegetable pulp
Transfer veggy solids to a bowl, add parsley and seasoning to taste – to use as chunky garnish.

martini glasses with gazpacho on wooden table 1

martini glasses with gazpacho on wooden table with pitcher of gazpacho
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4.75 from 4 votes

Easy Gazpacho Recipe (smooth or chunky)

This healthy, easy gazpacho recipe screams summer freshness. And it satisfies those who prefer their gazpacho smooth or chunky. Spoon it or sip it.
chill time2 hrs
Total Time20 mins
Course: Appetizer, soups and starters
Cuisine: Spanish, Vegetarian
Servings: 8 (about 1 quart/litre total; 1/2 cup per serving)

Equipment

  • immersion blender/stick; or blender

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs (0.45 kg) ripe tomatoes, cored and cut in chunks Note 1
  • 1/2 English cucumber (about 8 inches), peeled and cut in chunks
  • 1 small red pepper, core and seeds removed, cut in chunks
  • 1 jalapeno, ribs, stem and seeds removed, cut in chunks Note 2 for substitutes
  • 1 clove garlic, minced remove inner germ/sprout
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions, mostly white part (1/2 large shallot or 1/2 cup mild onion can be substituted)
  • 1 tbsp -2 tbsp sherry vinegar (start with 1 tbsp, then add to taste) (or fortified wine, red or white wine vinegar)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

Garnish options

  • reserved vegetable solids, croutons, herbs, crab, avocado, microgreens, flaky sea salt, drizzle of olive oil.

Instructions

  • BLEND VEGETABLES: Place all ingredients except oil in a deep pot/bowl if using an immersion blender stick or in a blender. If using a blender, you may need to do two batches. Blend until almost smooth, at least 2 minutes. Scrape down sides as needed.
  • STRAIN VEGETABLES (if you want a smooth gazpacho): Place a coarse meshed strainer over a bowl and empty in the blended vegetable mixture. Using a large spoon, scrape the vegetables against the strainer to release as much liquid into the bowl as possible. Also scrape off the underside of strainer into the bowl.
    Spoon solids/pulp into a small bowl. Add a drizzle of oil, salt and chopped parsley to taste. This will be used as a garnish or add-in for those who like chunkier gazpacho.
  • ADD OIL TO EMULSIFY: If using a blender, place the now-strained liquid back into blender. If using a immersion stick, place it in the bowl with the liquid.
    Turn on machine and slowly add the oil while machine is running. This will emulsify or slightly thicken the liquid to a smooth silky consistency. Add a bit more oil if needed. Liquid will now have more body (and even more once refrigerated). Taste and adjust seasonings as needed (more vinegar, more salt).
  • REFRIGERATE AND SERVE: Pour into pitcher or container and put in fridge for 2 hours or more. Serve with reserved solids on the side (for people to add) and one or more garnishes if desired.

Notes

  1. Tomatoes: use heirloom, cherry, field, San Marzano or vine.  
  2. Pepper for heat: use cubanelle (mild), anaheim (mild-medium) or jalapeno (medium heat). 
  3. Make Ahead:
    • Gazpacho is best served cold so refrigerate for at least 2 hours (some say 6 or more). Or speed up the process by putting it in a metal bowl in the freezer for 45 minutes.
    • The gazpacho will keep in the fridge for 4-5 days
    • It can even be frozen but you may need to re-blend it for a minute.
 
 
Nutrition values are estimates based on approximately 1/2 cups servings without garnishes. 

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Easy Gazpacho Recipe (smooth or chunky)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 151 Calories from Fat 126
% Daily Value*
Fat 14g22%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Sodium 8mg0%
Potassium 345mg10%
Carbohydrates 7g2%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 1511IU30%
Vitamin C 38mg46%
Calcium 19mg2%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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