Updated in 2021 – this recipe is still one of the best ones I’ve found for Gazpacho Andaluz.
This recipe came from my host mother (the family I lived with when I studied in Sevilla in 2003). She was an excellent cook and nutritionist and her son was a chef in a local restaurant. Gazpacho is eaten in the summer and comes from Andalucia and this particular version is quite simple. It is a cold soup or drink served either in a bowl or in a glass. When served in a bowl it usually has toppings – either onion and cucumber, or in northern Andalucia they put ham, hardboiled egg and some toasted bread on it. This dish is a part of Southern Spain’s culinary tradition dating back decades when it was originally taken by farmers into the fields in conical ceramic bowls that were then placed in a hole in the ground so the soup would stay cool as they worked and then eaten for lunch for a refreshing break.
- 10 – 12 vine ripened tomatoes (medium size) – or 5 or 6 large ripe beefsteak type tomatoes.
- 3-4 Italian skinny green peppers – also known as Friggitelli peppers or Jimmy Nardello peppers. 1 large or 2 small red or green bell peppers work if you can’t find Italian sweet peppers but the smaller peppers really help sweeten and balance out the flavor.
- 3 -4 oz of bread without the crust soaked in some water to soften while you cut up the vegetables. I generally use white bread as whole wheat doesn’t lend itself to making the soup smooth. Sometimes I use hamburger buns or brat buns if that is all I have. The bread helps thicken the gazpacho and cuts some of the acidity.
- 2 or 3 garlic cloves
- 1.5 – 2 tbsp of salt (or to taste)
- 1.5 tbsp of white wine vinegar or sherry vinegar
- 1/2 of a large cucumber or 1 small cucumber – peeled and seeded
- 1/3 cup olive oil
Cut the tomatoes in halves or quarters and the green peppers in half (cleaning out the seeds from the peppers).
Combine all the ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend together – don’t be shy, you can mix it for some time to get it all incorporated. You can choose not to put the bread in which makes the gazpacho thinner, but the bread takes away some of the acidity from the tomatoes. If it still seems thick or you prefer it thinner you can add cold water after you blend all the ingredients together.
Best served after being chilled. If you make it and want to serve it immediately you can add ice, but the best option would be to make it and keep it in the refrigerator at least half a day before serving it (or the freezer for an hour or two).
Cut up some red onion, green bell peppers, cucumber and tomatoes
Hard boil 3 or 4 eggs and after cooling peel them and cut them into smaller pieces to add to the gazpacho (if you have some Jamon Serrano bits sitting around – even better!)