Ripe, juicy garden tomatoes mean just one thing to me—gazpacho, and nothing beats this cool, delicious recipe topped with garlicky croutons. The best part is you don’t have to turn on the stove to make it—everything is pureed in a blender (except for the croutons.) It’s exactly what I want—sometimes the only thing I want—when the weather has me wilting.
Some soups can recover from less-than-ideal ingredients, but because gazpacho uses raw ingredients, it can’t hide sub-par produce. So be sure to use the best produce you can find, especially epic tomatoes. The croutons are essential (to some, like my family, they may even the best part). I like to make them with a crusty sourdough bread so they have a chewy texture. I also like straining this soup so it’s pretty smooth; if you’d rather not strain it, purée it more coarsely so the soup is chunky and tiny fibers aren’t an issue.
4 lb. fresh ripe tomatoes, cored and coarsely chopped
2 medium bell peppers, one green and one red, seeded and coarsely chopped
1 small red onion, coarsely chopped
1 large cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, and coarsely chopped
4 Tbs. red wine or sherry vinegar, more as needed
3 large cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, more as needed
1 slice sourdough bread, crust removed, soaked in water, and squeezed dry
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Garnishes: olive oil, chopped cucumber, finely chopped parsley
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 Tbs. butter
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
4 oz. coarse-textured bread, such a sour dough, torn or cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1. In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, bell pepper, onion, cucumber, vinegar, garlic, olive oil, and bread. In batches, process in a blender on high speed until very smooth, 3 to 4 minutes per batch. Strain through a coarse strainer into a clean bowl. Season with salt, pepper, and the additional vinegar, if desired. Cover and chill for 1 hour.
2. To make the croutons: In a medium skillet, heat the oil and butter over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until golden brown. Remove the garlic and discard. Add the torn bread pieces and cook. tossing often, until golden brown. Transfer to a paper-lined plate.
3. Ladle the chilled soup into serving bowls. Garnish with the cucumber and parsley. Drizzle with olive oil and top with croutons.
The soup is also good serving with chilled, poach shrimp.
For another delicious soup recipe, try:
Italian Wedding Soup
- Serving Size: 1 bowl
- Calories: 381
- Sugar: 12.7g
- Sodium: 296.3mg
- Fat: 20.6g
- Carbohydrates: 42.7g
- Protein: 8.5g
- Cholesterol: 5.1mg
Keywords: gazpacho, chilled soup, easy gazpacho