We can wax poetic about tomatoes all day (really, we can). From salads to pastas to straight up, we just can’t get enough of them in the summer. For that reason, but especially on those days when it’s just too hot to do anything and your mind is completely blank on what would even taste good right now…it’s time to go gazpacho. Cold, refreshing, salty, and jam-packed with juicy tomatoes, this chilled summer soup is the recipe you’ve been waiting for. Because we love the basics as much as we love a good twist, we’re giving you our classic recipe alongside two summery variations. Whether you have your own tomato garden (props) or are headed to the store, buy extra tomatoes. You’re going to want gazpacho for lunch and dinner. Have it for breakfast, too. No one’s looking.
This is our favorite
6 ounces hearty bread, crusts removed, torn into 1- to 2-inch chunks
About 4 large very ripe tomatoes, cored and cut into rough 1-inch chunks
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cut into rough 1-inch chunks
1 small small red onion, peeled and cut into rough 1-inch chunks
1 medium green or red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into rough 1-inch chunks
1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh oregano leaves
2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar, plus more to taste
Chopped herbs such as parsley, chives, or oregano for serving
Place bread in bottom of a large bowl. Add half of the tomatoes in an even layer on top and season generously with salt and pepper. Add cucumbers, onion, peppers, and garlic. Sprinkle with oregano and season generously with salt and pepper. Add remaining tomatoes and sprinkle with more salt and pepper. Drizzle oil and vinegar over the top. Let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Toss all ingredients with a wooden spoon or by hand until they are evenly incorporated. Transfer half of the contents, including liquid at bottom of bowl, to the jar of a blender. Blend on high speed until completely smooth, about 3 minutes. Press mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a large bowl. Repeat with remaining soup (you may need to work in more batches). Season soup with more salt, pepper, and vinegar as desired.
Serve immediately, garnished with chopped herbs and drizzled with extra virgin olive oil, or chill for up to three days before serving.
It’s summer, so now add watermelon
1 3-pound seedless watermelon, diced (about 5 cups), divided
1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded, diced (about 1 cup)
1 medium-size red bell pepper, seeded, diced (about 1 cup)
1 medium-size yellow bell pepper, seeded, diced (about 1 cup)
1 small jalapeño chile, seeded, minced
3 pale green inner celery stalks, diced (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 small red onion, diced (about 1 cup)
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh mint
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup crème fraîche or sour cream
Puree 4 cups watermelon in blender until smooth. Transfer puree to large bowl. Add remaining 1 cup diced watermelon and next 10 ingredients; stir to combine. Cover gazpacho and refrigerate until cold, at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours. Divide gazpacho among bowls; top with dollop of crème fraîche.
Take the edge off with some spice
2 cups diced seeded peeled cucumber
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped green onions
1 4-ounce can chopped mild green chilies
3 14 1/2-ounce cans diced tomatoes in juice
1 slice white bread, torn into pieces
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup drained capers
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 garlic cloves
Place 1 cup cucumber, 1/2 cup celery, 1/2 cup green onions and half of chilies in small bowl and reserve. Working in batches, coarsely puree remaining cucumber, celery, green onions, chilies and next 7 ingredients in blender. Pour into large bowl. Mix in reserved vegetables. Season with salt and pepper. Chill at least 6 hours and up to 1 day.
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