Classic Gazpacho

fresh gazpacho soup made with tomatoes onions peppers and bread with a cilantro garnish
Photo Credit
Becky Luigart-Stayner
The Editors
6 servings
Preparation Method
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Gazpacho is the quintessential cold summer soup. With all of the fresh flavor and nutrients of raw vegetables, it has aptly been called a liquid salad. Perfect for a sweltering summer day when it’s too hot to eat!

Our gazpacho is the classic recipe with bread. Ideally, use slightly stale crusty white bread (or, a third of a French baguette). The bread adds thickness, body, as well as a certain creaminess. Plus, it’s a great use of old bread! However, you can forgo the bread if you prefer. We’ve made it both ways and think the soup feels more like a thin salsa without the bread.

Gazpacho recipes are flexible. Here are a few of our tips:

  • Some folks strain our gazpacho as a final step; we prefer to keep the fiber. It’s not meant to be a smoothie. However, if you have picky eaters, straining is an option.
  • Smaller, sweeter varieties of tomato are usually better (not beefsteak, for example).
  • If you are not a fan of green peppers, use red peppers. Cubanelle peppers are our favorite if you have access to these light green, mildly sweet peppers.
  • For those who don’t like onions, omit them. Not a cilantro fan? It’s optional. Make it your own. 

Check out this page for more delicious summer recipe ideas using seasonal fruits and vegetables.

3 pounds ripe red tomatoes, diced
1 cucumber, about 8 inches long, peeled and roughly cut into chunks
2 green bell peppers, diced
1 white onion, diced
1 slice slightly stale crusty white bread, soaked in cold water for 5 minutes
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar or other vinegar of choice
2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
1/2 tablespoon hot-pepper sauce
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
  1. In a blender or food processor, puree tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, and peppers until very smooth. (If needed, work in batches.) 
  2. Squeeze out the water from the bread, tear it roughly into chunks, and add to the blender. 
  3. Add olive oil very slowly, ensuring it fully emulsifies before adding more. Blend until smooth.
  4. In a bowl or pitcher, combine processed vegetables with the remaining ingredients, except garnishes. Set aside for 30 minutes to an hour to allow flavors to marry. Chill until cold, then serve with garnishes.
  5. If the soup is too thick, add a few drops of water. If it separates in the fridge, give it a good stir with a wooden spoon before serving.
  6. Add more salt and hot pepper sauce to taste. 
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The Almanac Chefs

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