What makes gazpacho soup so good is the fresh taste of all the vegetables. It’s best in the summer when vegetables are the most flavorful. People who have never tried a cold soup are sometimes hesitant to try gazpacho but soon become fans of the fresh, intense flavors. Gazpacho is one of summer’s pleasures!
Gazpacho soup originated from the southern Spanish region of Andalusia. Although there are many regional and modern versions of this recipe, it’s traditionally made with ripe tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers, garlic, and bread moistened with water that is blended with olive oil, vinegar, and ice water and served cold.
Gazpacho was traditionally eaten by workers in the fields of vineyards, olive plantations, citrus groves, wheat fields, or cork farms. Gazpacho was originally nothing but bread, water, and olive oil, all pounded in a large wooden bowl. It was poor people’s food.
The word gazpacho is believed to come from the word “caspa”, meaning “residue” or “fragments”, an allusion to the small pieces of bread and vegetables in a gazpacho soup.
Ina Garten’s Gazpacho
The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook (1999)
Total Time: 20 min Prep Time: 20 min Yield: 4 to 6 servings
1 cucumber, halved and seeded, but not peeled
2 red bell peppers, cored and seeded
4 plum tomatoes
1 red onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
23 ounces tomato juice (3 cups)
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup good olive oil
1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
Roughly chop the cucumbers, bell peppers, tomatoes, and red onions into 1-inch cubes. Put each vegetable separately into a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse until it is coarsely chopped. Do not overprocess!
After each vegetable is processed, combine them in a large bowl and add the garlic, tomato juice, vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Mix well and chill before serving. The longer gazpacho sits, the more the flavors develop.