Gazpacho (Cold tomato soup)

Gazpacho – The Recipe (Serves 6)

Gazpacho is a famous and deliciously refreshing cold soup that’s pretty much a staple in Spain in the warmer months. It’s easy to make, looks impressive and is budget food at its best. You need an electric blender though or you’ll be at it for hours! Here’s Louise’s tried and trusted recipe.


2 slices of white bread, crusts removed; 4 large ripe tomatoes (about 1kg), peeled; 1 big red pepper (keep about a third of it aside for garnish); ½ a cucumber, peeled (keep the other half for garnish); ½ onion (keep the other half for garnish); 1 small green and/or yellow pepper (only for garnish); 2 fat garlic cloves, peeled and chopped; 4 tbsp (60ml) olive oil; 2 tsp salt; ¼ tsp ground cumin; 5 tbsp (75ml) white vinegar; ¼ to ½ litre of water (optional).


Cover the bread with some water and soak to soften.

Cut the peeled tomatoes into chunks and stick it in the blender along with the garlic as well as the seeded peppers, cucumber and onion which have all cut into blocks. You probably need to do this in two batches as your blender won’t be big enough.

Once completely blended (no chunky bits), pour it across into a big bowl or tureen.

Squeeze the water out of the bread, put it in the blender and, with the motor running, add the olive oil in a slow and steady stream; blend till thoroughly mixed. Add the vinegar, cumin and salt and blend some more.

Ladle some of the tomato mix back into the blender and give it another whiz; pour that mix back into the tureen or bowl with the rest of the tomato liquid and mix thoroughly.

Taste to see if you’ve got enough salt and vinegar; add the water if you want a runnier gazpacho.

Chill till serving time. Garnish with chopped red, yellow and/or green pepper; some chopped tomato; chopped onion; chopped cucumber.

You can either serve it in soup bowls or in smaller glasses as part of a tapas menu.

Picture: Salvelio Meyer

Tips for making gazpacho

  • You can use any white spirit vinegar but I like to use white balsamic vinegar because it adds a bit of sweetness.
  • Try to use half-decent bread, not the suspiciously white pre-sliced stuff.
  • Adding water at the end is totally optional – if you like a thick gazpacho omit the water.
  • Blanching the chopped onion for your garnishing, then rinsing it in cold water and drying it, removes some of the sting but none of the crunch.
  • Gazpacho is perfect picnic food – just pour it into a chilled flask.
  • For a super-cool gazpacho at lunch or dinner, add some ice-cubes to each plate when you serve it.

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14 Responses to Gazpacho (Cold tomato soup)

  1. Gillian says:

    This looks delish, I’ve never tried a cold soup but you make it look so easy and I must try this. Here’s to happy cooking!

  2. Steve says:

    Ok. You convinced me. I’ll try it with day old bread if you think it will give it more body. By the way, what the traditional Spanish view on adding chilies. I’ve loaded them on when I’ve made gazpacho before but I suspect it might be less than authentic.

  3. globaltable says:

    Thanks for the great comments. A cold soup like gazpacho is a great starter in the hotter months because it’s light, quick to make and the colours are amazing. Try it, Gillian, and let us know how it went! Steve, we’re glad we could persuade you to try adding the bread – it’ll definitely make a difference. As for adding chilli… despite Spain’s historic association with South America, where chillies are an important part of the cuisine, this fiery ingredient does not feature greatly in traditional Spanish cooking. Many people think Spanish food is spicy but this for the most part this is not the case. Spanish cooks are also not terrifically keen on pepper, unless for a meat dish, so if you want to be authentic then rather don’t add that to your gazpacho either.

  4. Maria del Mar, Cordoba says:

    Queridos Louise y Salvelio, me ha enseñado Stephan el video del gazpacho, que guapa estás Louise, y la verdad es que el video está genial, muy profesional. Os echamos de menos.

  5. Liezel says:

    Wow, I didn’t know you could make such a delish meal with day old bread 😉 This is awesome! Can’t wait for the next one!!

  6. Brian says:

    Dig the video… still to make the soup, but it looks fantastic! Keep it up !!

  7. Barbara says:

    Wow! A new celeb chef is born! Watch out Nigella

  8. Bev says:

    Fantastic – cannot wait to try this recipe and the others to come!

  9. Bev E says:

    Looks divine – will definitely give it a go! Where is the vanue that you’re cooking in Louise?

  10. Nadia, Mexico says:

    it’s brilliant! hadn’t seen it! you have saved my gazpacho from being bland, I had omitted the cumin, and it makes all the difference… thank you!

  11. Lynne says:

    My turn for bookclub next month – they get soup and bread at my place. They’ll be getting the gazpacho for sure – any suggestions for an interesting, different hot soup I can serve as well?

  12. globaltable says:

    @Lynne: If you’re sticking with veggie-based soups, there’s a lovely carrot and cumin soup recipe we once got from the chef at The Plettenberg; otherwise you could try a sweet potato soup with coriander and coconut milk – let us know which you prefer and we’ll post the recipe on The Global Table soon! I’d stay away from soups that are too heavy or hearty for the time being and save them for the colder months.

  13. Lynne says:

    Thanks so much for the suggestions. I’d love to try the sweet potato soup.

  14. globaltable says:

    @Lynne: We’ll be uploading the sweet potato soup recipe early on Thursday (April 2) so make sure you check the blog on that day!

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