More of a drink than a soup made of raw vegetables – served cold in bowls, or my favorite, chilled tumblers – gazpacho is perfectly refreshing, especially in the sweltering heat of summer.
Gazpacho originated in Seville, Spain and the original recipe using bread, water, vinegar, oil and salt, traditional ingredients in the Iberian Peninsula, perhaps going back to Roman times. There are many modern variations of gazpacho, often in different colors, and omitting tomatoes and bread in favor of avocados, cucumbers, parsley, watermelon, grapes, seafood, and other ingredients. This is my version. Enjoy!
Yields 6 to 8 servings
2 pounds fresh tomatoes and their juices, preferably Roma, chopped and seeded
1 seedless cucumber, peeled and cut into small pieces
1 celery stalk, cut in large dice
1 garlic clove, minced
½ red bell pepper, seeded and deveined, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
4 oz. chilled water (Optional)
6 Roma tomatoes, seeds removed, cut in ¼-inch-dice
12 basil leaves, chiffonade
- Rinse the tomatoes before you use them.
- Place the vegetables, herbs, garlic, honey, and vinegar in a blender (in batches, if necessary).
- Add salt and pepper to taste and blend again until all ingredients are mixed well and emulsified. If the gazpacho is too thick, you might add a few tablespoons of chilled water, and blend again.
- Pour into a large bowl. Stir the olive oil. Taste and adjust as needed.
- Transfer to an airtight container, and refrigerate until ready to serve. For best flavor, let the gazpacho settle for at least 2 hours.
- Serve chilled, with the garnishes on top. Drizzle with a little olive oil, if desired.