classic gazpacho recipe

I felt like it was time for some more great summer food, this time, a nice classic gazpacho recipe. Good things come in pairs, I think. It wasn’t long after Tyler Davis had submitted his recipe for ceviche that I knew there’d be another great recipe to follow, for all you readers out there. This is actually one from my collection, one that was passed from a friend of a friend of a friend of a… you know the deal. It’s incredibly simple, surprisingly filling, and a recipe any wise guy should keep in his arsenal of all things culinary.

It’s a classic recipe for a great spring / summer cool-down treat, and the variations you can perform with it are absolutely endless. Gazpacho is, by definition, a tomato-based soup, usually served cold that originally comes from the southern Spanish region of Andalucía. It’s a favorite dish of mine because, due to the tomato base, it’s something that almost everyone will enjoy, which makes it a great appetizer / light entrée to serve to friends. The recipe I use has a host of healthy ingredients in it, which, when they are in season and bought fresh really make this a dish you can’t get quite enough of.

Served with a side of sour cream, and a soft french baguette with an olive oil / parmesan / cracked pepper plate, paired with a nice dry rosé or an herbaceous sauvignon blanc, I’m certain this gazpacho recipe (and yourself, of course) will be the focal point of many enjoyable summer evenings.

Classic Gazpacho Recipe

Serves 6 – 8

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup finely chopped white onion
  • 3/4 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped green pepper
  • 2 1/2 cups diced tomatoes
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons chives
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup chopped cucumber
  • 2 cups V-8 Juice

Method:

Prepare all ingredients as noted, chopping the vegetables into medium-sized chunks. Combine all ingredients in a large 6-quart pot with and use immersion blender to transform to the desired consistency. Let sit in refrigerator for 24 hours if possible, to allow flavors to infuse and intensify, stirring two or three times to incorporate.

To spice things up a bit, you can add a number of optional ingredients to this recipe.

  • To add protein, small cocktail shrimp may be added, along with horseradish to taste, for a shrimp cocktail inspired gazpacho. Alternatively, good-quality fresh lump crab meat may be used instead.
  • For a thicker result, add a soft white bread, cut into 3/4 inch chunks, lightly toasted, before blending.
  • I’ve heard of some people also imparting a sweet, fruit flavor to their gazpacho by adding diced mango chunks or watermelon.
  • Have a favorite type of pepper that you like? Substitute it in place of the green peppers, or add in addition to them for extra heat.
  • For a richer, tangier taste, use balsamic vinegar instead of the lemon juice.
  • For a different type of tang, use a spoon of sour cream or greek yogurt, and garnish with fresh cracked black pepper, cilantro, and basil.

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