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This delicious gazpacho is truly the best gazpacho recipe around, or so we've been told by our Spanish friends with strong opinions on Spanish food. The process for making this recipe is a little different than most, and the payoff is in how great it tastes. It's fresh, bright, refreshing, and creamy tasting. You'll LOVE it!
This recipe was originally published in 2013. We've updated the post with some new photos and more information, but the delicious recipe remains exactly the same.
What is gazpacho
Gazpacho is a light and refreshing cold soup that is perfect for summer. It originated in the Andalucian region of southern Spain and is traditionally made with tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers. You'll also find gazpacho made with green tomatoes, corn, and even fruit.
This Andalucian-style gazpacho is made with the freshest vegetables and healthy olive oil so you can feel great about eating many bowls of it.
What makes this the best gazpacho recipe
We were given a version of this recipe many years ago and haven't made another gazpacho recipe since. We've even had some Spanish friends tell us that this is THE BEST GAZPACHO they've ever eaten. The unique process of salting and freezing the vegetables before blending them helps to break them down and draw every bit of delicious flavor from them.
It's based on J. Kenji López-Alt's recipe with a few minor changes. Instead of soaking bread in the juices from the vegetables, we skip the bread. White bread isn't something we normally have on hand so we looked for an alternative that mimics the creamy texture. Extra olive oil, which is rich, creamy, and healthy, does the trick. We've taste-tested both recipes and the version with the bread is a tiny bit creamier and this gluten-free version is a tiny bit fresher-tasting. It was hard to pick a favorite but the gluten-free gazpacho won out in the end.
How to make gazpacho soup
The process for making this recipe is a little different than most, and the payoff is how great it tastes.
- Salt the veggies. We use a process called maceration, which is just a fancy word for breaking down veggies by adding salt to them. (You can also macerate veggies or fruit in sugar or alcohol.) This is step #1 in making the soup taste amazing.
- Freeze the veggies. This step breaks down the veggies (ie: draws out their flavor) even more. After a quick freeze, you'll let them thaw on your counter before moving on to the next step.
- Blend the veggies. Once you've salted, frozen, and thawed the vegetables they'll be ready for the blender. Add all the veggies and the liquid they released into your blender. Now add a generous amount of olive oil, a little sherry vinegar, and some black pepper and blend until nice and smooth. (Or leave the gazpacho a little chunky, if you prefer.)
- Serve. There is nothing we love more than (totally not traditional) fried halloumi on top of our gazpacho. We've even converted Spanish friends to this new way of serving their classic soup. If you're feeling adventurous (and we sure hope that you are,) fry some chunks of halloumi in olive oil for a few minutes, then place the salty golden pieces on top of your soup.
Can I make gazpacho ahead of time?
Yes! Gazpacho is a great make-ahead recipe. It keeps well for up to 3 days in your fridge. We store ours in mason jars and give the jars a good shake to mix up the soup again before pouring a bowl.
Can you freeze gazpacho?
Yes! Gazpacho freezes very well. Store it in your freezer for up to 6 months. We've found that the best way to freeze soup is in these reusable Stasher freezer bags.
What are the best tomatoes for gazpacho?
Use the ripest tomatoes you can find. If the tomatoes are too soft for slicing and eating, they'll be perfect for gazpacho. If you can't find any very ripe tomatoes, cherry tomatoes can be used instead.
Is gazpacho gluten-free?
Gazpacho is normally made with a few slices of white bread. Instead of adding an unhealthy (and unnecessary) ingredient, we make ours with more extra virgin olive oil. It mimics the bread by adding a creamy texture to the gazpacho while making it both gluten-free and healthy.
What to serve with gazpacho
Gazpacho is best served with other recipes that require little cooking or are cooked on the grill. Here are a few of our favorite summertime recipes that go excellent with this soup:
- 3 lbs ripe tomatoes (cored and cut into chunks)
- 8 ounces English cucumber (about 1, cut into chunks)
- 5 ounces red bell pepper (about 1, cut into chunks)
- 5 ounces red onion (about ½, cut into chunks)
- 2 cloves garlic (peeled and smashed)
- 1 jalapeño pepper (cored, seeded, and cut into chunks)
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 ¼ cups extra-virgin olive oil (plus more for serving)
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar (plus more for serving)
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons finely minced chives
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 8 ounces halloumi cheese (cut into large cubes)
- Put the tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper, red onion, garlic, and jalapeño into a large bowl. Toss the veggies with the salt then let them sit on your counter for 45 minutes. This step releases the liquid from the vegetables.3 lbs ripe tomatoes, 8 ounces English cucumber, 5 ounces red bell pepper, 5 ounces red onion, 2 cloves garlic, 1 jalapeño pepper, 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- Separate the vegetables from the liquid, reserving the liquid. Place the vegetables on a parchment paper-lined tray and place them into your freezer for at least 30 minutes, or until they are partially frozen. This step may take longer depending on your freezer.
- Remove the tray from the freezer and let the vegetables thaw completely.
- Combine the thawed veggies and any juice that accumulated on the tray, the reserved juice, olive oil, sherry vinegar, and black pepper into your blender. (If you have a smaller blender, combine everything into a large bowl then work in batches to blend the soup. Blend on high speed until smooth and creamy. Serve immediately or chill for up to 3 days.1 ¼ cups extra-virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar, 1 teaspoon black pepper
- Serve with extra olive oil and a sprinkle of chives, black pepper, and fried halloumi (see below) over top.2 tablespoons finely minced chives
- Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add the halloumi and cook, undisturbed, for 2 minutes. Once it's golden on the bottom, turn the pieces over and cook for 2 minutes more.1 tablespoon olive oil, 8 ounces halloumi cheese
- Top the gazpacho with the fried halloumi and serve immediately.
We have thoroughly tested this recipe for accuracy. However, individual results may vary. See our full recipe disclosure here.