26 Jul2010

Gazpacho Andaluz

by Marketman


Well-made gazpacho is a revelation. Utterly palatable, so simple to make, and it’s done a day in advance so it’s perfect for company. However, badly executed gazpacho is like taking the remnants of your veggie chiller and blitzing them together hoping they will turn into something better, which NEVER happens. As a kid in the 1970’s, there were several occasions where I had to go with my parents to dinners or lunches at the homes of their friends or business acquaintances… and gazpacho must have been the chic soup of that decade as I recall facing many a bowl of this chilled wonder horrified that I would have to gracefully consume all of it when the one thing I really wanted to do was dump it in the closest potted palm tree. So if you too were turned off to this cold soup because of bad childhood memories, give it another try using this recipe, and I suspect I will convert many of you to this soup with the humblest of beginnings…


I had several bowls of gazpacho in Madrid, hoping to overcome a childhood aversion and it didn’t take long to change my mind on this chilled tomato soup. Different restaurants had slightly different consistencies on offer, but all were flavorful and extremely appealing on a hot summer day. Back at home, I reviewed several recipes, and eliminated any that seemed too easy, or employed obvious shortcuts, as there must be some secret to a gazpacho with real depth of flavor. I toyed with a recipe that had oven roasted tomatoes but decided that was defeating the purpose of a “no-cook” soup and made that my second choice recipe in case my first choice didn’t work out well. I finally settled on a recipe in the current (August 2010) issue of Cook’s Illustrated Magazine for the primary reason that they seemed to really put gazpacho through its paces, and the main conclusion was that salting tomatoes and letting them sit significantly altered the intensity of the tomato flavor. I decided this was the recipe, with some necessary substitutions, that I would use… and it resulted in a brilliant soup. Perfect for all you in the U.S. that and elsewhere with wickedly hot summers and wonderfully robust tomatoes at the moment.


The first challenge in mid-rainy season Manila was finding some decent tomatoes. I couldn’t find any in the city, but on our way back from the beach, I managed to secure a few kilos at the Toscana Farms roadside stand, and back home, I ripened them on a kitchen counter for three days more until they seemed to be as ripe as I could get them without being overripe. On two days, I let them sunbathe in the mid-morning sun for a couple of hours to help the ripening process along. As far as Filipino tomatoes are concerned, I felt these were 8/10 tomatoes, not a bad starting point. You need two pounds of tomatoes. I then got a nice firm fresh medium sized cucumber. A crisp green pepper. A medium white onion (original recipe called for a mild red onion which does not exist here). Two garlic cloves, peeled. One third to one half of a siling mahaba or finger chile for a bit of spice (original recipe called for a serrano chile). Kosher salt. 1 slice of good white bread, crusts removed. 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, the best you can afford. 2 tablespoons of sherry vinegar. See full original recipe here.


You can read the recipe at the Cook’s Illustrated site, but essentially you cut up the tomatoes, cucumber, green pepper and onions and salt them and let them sit for an hour before blitzing with some bread cubes and then olive oil. It is VERY simple, but you must follow the steps as written. It is essential you do no deviate the first time around. And make sure the soup sits in your fridge overnight for all of the flavors to develop and ripen…


You need a good blender to make this soup, but if you don’t have that, a food processor is a reasonable alternative. Just be careful when drizzling olive oil into the running machine to prevent splatters. I made this at around 11am and had the first bowl just 8 hours later and it was already delicious…


That first bowl, served almost exactly as the magazine suggests, is seen here, in a well-chilled glass bowl. It was already delicious and everything I would want in a good gazpacho.


But the next day, I had the soup for lunch and it was SUPERB. As good if not better than the ones we had tasted in Madrid. And I added some homemade croutons for the photo in the green bowl and some chopped herbs and it was incredible. Creamy but not too thick, definitely tomatoey, with hints of garlic, the richness of the olive oil and a hint of onion and zing from the chile. The added sherry vinegar and herbs gave this more complexity and it was really a joy to eat. In fact, compare my version with the photo of the magazine’s version… I think mine looks a bit better, no? :) If you have had qualms about gazpacho before, you may want to give it another chance with this recipe.



  1. farida says:

    Delicious!! And great pictures too. Must make this as tomatoes are abundant now. Thanks, MM.

    Jul 26, 2010 | 3:20 pm


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  3. atbnorge says:

    Aww, nobody in our housebold like cold soups. But we love hot tomato soup with boiled egg. Maybe I can use the recipe here and heat it up.

    Jul 26, 2010 | 4:52 pm

  4. Marketman says:

    atbnorge, it WON’T translate well into a hot soup.

    Jul 26, 2010 | 5:45 pm

  5. Christopher Jennings says:

    This soup is really tempting! I would love to taste one! Must make this asap!

    Jul 26, 2010 | 6:57 pm

  6. Betchay says:

    Yeah….the 70’s….I got introduced to this cold soup by an American friend of my parents….and I didnt like it too.Before that, I always thought soup was always meant to be piping hot! Anyway, I guess our taste buds mature with us.I love tomatoes now so I’ll give it another try….with your recipe. Too bad you didnt post this last summer when there were very good tomatoes in the market. :)

    Jul 26, 2010 | 8:41 pm

  7. Pecorino1 says:

    Hi MM. Thank you for posting. I love gazpacho and wish more people around me would do so. Maybe with this version I can convince them. How much salt should be used for the tomatoes et al? I couldn’t get into the Cook’s Illustrated website recipe. Thanks!

    One of my recent discoveries is Julia Child’s Black Bean Gazpacho which you may want to try as well.

    Jul 26, 2010 | 10:52 pm

  8. atbnorge says:

    I take your word for that, MM, ;-)
    But I’ll give this recipe a try when I have some of my girlfriends for dinner….Like Betchay said, too bad…you didn’t post this last year when I had lots of tomatoes to harvest and didn’t know what to do with them.

    Jul 27, 2010 | 5:18 am

  9. Footloose says:

    I like the top photo. Is that crackle glaze celadon and a bilao underneath? The color of the gazpacho itself reminds me of bisque. Lobster bisque not pumpkin bisque that a vegan friend enticed me to her party with once because I normally decline vegan dinners. Same color but they should never call what is essentially a pumpkin purée bisque. It is so misleading it makes me mad.

    Jul 27, 2010 | 5:40 am

  10. zena says:

    Luv gazpacho. Must definitely give this a try.

    Jul 27, 2010 | 7:01 am

  11. Marketman says:

    footloose, that’s right, crackle celadon (but a new cheap China version, only one piece purchased only for photos :) and a large bilao underneath. The bowl itself is in a green glaze by a group of new potters, this one has serious defects with glaze in one part of the bowl, but covered by the soup, $2 from a bazaar. And I agree, you can’t have a vegetarian “bisque”… atbnorge, when you have a bumper crop of tomatoes again, try this soup. Pecorino, 1.5 teaspoons of kosher salt for the soup part, .5 teaspoons kosher salt for the chopped up tomatoes and cucumber and green pepper condiment.

    Jul 27, 2010 | 7:15 am

  12. meh says:

    MM, I hope you (or someone else) posts the full recipe, because I cannot access the Cooks Illustrated website without paying their subscription fee =( Good recipes oughta be shared !

    Jul 27, 2010 | 10:20 am

  13. Marketman says:

    meh, if they are charging for the recipe, then I am almost certainly not supposed to re-post it in full verbatim without permission. I paid for my subscription, but that doesn’t allow me to re-post it. Follow my instructions up top and the ingredients as listed, including salt amounts in the comment above. It should work quite well. And with my change to ingredients, it is NOT exactly the recipe of CI, though they get credit for it as I would never have made the recipe this was without their article… Recipes are not patentable, believe it or not, or at least not the ingredients, but the prose of the method to prepare the dish IS patentable, hence copyrights for recipe books, and I suspect, magazine articles and even blog recipes…

    Jul 27, 2010 | 10:30 am

  14. Ed B. says:

    @meh: when I opened the Cooks Illustrated site there was a free 14-day trial offer. ;-)

    Jul 27, 2010 | 11:46 am

  15. present tense says:

    Like, atbnorge, we also used to enjoy our gazpacho hot in the 70s. In the middle ages, pots were food storing vessels where a family used to throw everything including leftovers like bread. During winters, i understand, the pots hung over a fire. And were possibly the origins of the first soups and stews. In 17th century France, these soups were sold by street vendors as an antidote to exhaustion due to labor. Shops that sold these came to be known as restaurants ( meaning to restore something ). Sourced from wiki / soups

    Jul 27, 2010 | 4:33 pm

  16. iya says:

    im not fond of cold soup but this looks absolutely divine. i want!

    Jul 27, 2010 | 5:16 pm

  17. millet says:

    thanks for trying and sharing this, MM. the few gazpachos i’ve tried before tasted like tomato sauce with a few chopped onions and green peppers thrown in, like a stale salsa that had watered down. will certainly try this. the photos alone are enough to change my mind.

    Jul 27, 2010 | 8:31 pm

  18. Mari says:


    Yes Cook’s Illustrated, America’s Test Kitchen and Cooks Country charge a fee for certain recipes in their site. I am paying a subscription to their website, but it doesn’t mean that you cannot share their recipes.

    Thanks for sharing the recipe. This is one dish that I haven’t tried yet and always hoped to do so one day. Maybe I will now that you have convinced me into trying this.

    Jul 27, 2010 | 11:12 pm

  19. Marketman says:

    Mari, I meant not replicate it verbatim, but desribe it, from own experience, I am comfortable with… and with attribution to original inspiration/recipe. :)

    Jul 28, 2010 | 9:50 am

  20. fried-neurons says:

    I just did it today. Even signed up for the 14-day trial just so I can see the recipe. It’s chilling in the fridge now.

    Got me some fantastic heirloom tomatoes from Whole Foods. Even freshly blitzed, as I tried a sample in order to adjust the seasoning, it already tasted good. The one thing I did differently was that I used sel gris instead of kosher salt. I kinda prefer the more “rounded” saltiness that it has.

    Can’t wait to enjoy the gazpacho tomorrow!

    Jul 28, 2010 | 2:10 pm

  21. Clarissa says:

    Cold soups are really not my thing. Give or take a few more months (or years) before I can get to handle of preparing this :) But everything looks pretty good.

    Jul 28, 2010 | 2:18 pm

  22. Marketman says:

    fried neurons, please let us know how the gazpacho turned out. I want to know if I just loved this because I made it myself, or if the recipe really works well…

    Jul 28, 2010 | 4:26 pm

  23. betty q. says:

    It is 31 degrees outside, MM …on top of that, my little one had his wisdom teeth exracted…planned ahead for he could only have soft foods.

    This Gazpacho is a WINNER! A must TRY, mga Mrs! Thank you MM for the post. I did not add any more sherry vinegar at the end. Instead, I added a small dollop of creme fraiche for the boys and the hubby…also drizzled GARLIC-BASIL infuse olive oil. We had this with Fennel and Garlic-infused Olive oil breadsticks (homemade!). …..maaaaaasssssarrrrap!!! but definitely not diet food for the breadsticks were addicting!

    Millet…..you have got to do this GAZPACHO ASAP!!!!!!! Natie….if you have the time to make Garlic-Basil infused olive oil…do not throw the goodies …..pound it to a paste, baguette slices rubbed with garlic, and smear this paste ( a thin film only) and top with slices of bocconcini and broil… when the breadsticks were finished, had the leftover gazpacho today with those.

    Jul 29, 2010 | 8:08 am

  24. fried-neurons says:

    I’m happy to report that the recipe is a winner. The tomato flavor just explodes in your mouth. Very refreshing and bright. As it lingers in your mouth, the green pepper and cucumber flavors come out more. Nice, nice, nice.

    I think that the next time I make it, it will be with a few minor modifications…

    1) I used a few different kinds of heirloom tomatoes. Next time I will omit the tart green ones in an effort to skew the tomato flavor more to the sweet side.

    2) Instead of half a serrano pepper, I think I will throw in a whole one (de-seeded, of course).

    3) The recipe called for chives OR basil OR parsley. I used a combination of chives and basil. Next time, I think I’ll go with either all basil, or a combo of basil and parsley.

    Thanks again for sharing this with us!

    Jul 29, 2010 | 10:33 am

  25. betty q. says:

    Fried-neuron…try it with a drizzle of the Garlic-Basil infused olive oil at the end….not a lot just a drizzle!

    Jul 29, 2010 | 11:09 pm

  26. Travieso says:

    Tradicionally, it isn’t prepared spicy.

    Apr 12, 2011 | 10:53 am


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