Sunday, May 1, 2011

Recipe: Gazpacho!

Recently, I made gazpacho--a little early in the season, I admit...but I had a craving & every time I make it, I am reminded how incredibly perfect this dish is.  There a million different ways to make gazpacho, and I've never made a batch I didn't like...I'll share my current fave below.  But I think why this soup appeals to me, is that, like most rustic food or Povera Cucina: as the Italians call it--cooking of the poor or Peasant food--Gazpacho has ancient roots and came about because the ingredients are what the people of Southern Spain, in Andalusia, had readily available to them.  They didn't go out and buy the ingredients to make Gazpacho, they made Gazpacho because those were the ingredients they had out their back door--in the garden...I love that...I kind of aspire to that....

My grandfather immigrated to the US around 1920 from Italy.  He and my grandmother always kept a big vegetable garden at their house on Long Island in New York.  Basil, tomatoes, cucumbers, yellow squash, zucchini, garlic, eggplant...on and was their way for many, many years and I love that...I like to think that's why I do it, because its in my genes--I just love the idea of dinner as a result of my own physical labor and also, because it just happens to be what is growing out my back door...

Gazpacho with Red Pepper
serves 4

2 red bell peppers
2 cucumbers
3 scallions, sliced
1 garlic clove minced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
1 small tomato diced
1/2 jalapeno chile chopped, remove seeds for less heat
2 1/2 cups vegetable juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
Salt and Pepper

1.  Peel, seed and finely dice cucumbers and bell peppers.  Place in bowl and combine with garlic, scallions, tomato, cilantro & jalapeno.

2. Add vegetable juice, oil & vinegar, season with salt and pepper.  Stir to combine.  Optional: you may use a hand blender or add some to a regular blender to puree for a less chunky, more smooth soup-like texture.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate till ready to serve.  Best if can let sit for an hour or two before serving.  Garnish with cilantro and serve cold or at room temperature.


  1. Hi! I'm Mònica from Barcelona, Spain. Your recipe really shocked me.... cilantro in the gazpacho? I've never hear that. Insteresting.....
    My recipe:
    - 1/2 red pepper
    - 1/2 green pepper
    - 1 cucumber
    - 1 onion
    - 1 garlic clove
    - 1 kg of fresh tomatoes
    - wine vinegar, olive oli, salt

    I put everything in the blender and serve it with some croutons on the top. Enjoy it!

  2. Hi Monica! Thanks so much for the email...and you truly are the expert!! I am not Spanish, but LOVE Spanish food...and I love cilantro so that is why I tried it...but will leave it out next time and so looking forward to trying your recipe...thank you so much for sending!!
    Kind regards,

  3. Quentin,
    My comment was not a criticism, of course. Just wanted to share the recipe I use (in south Spain, where the gazpacho has its origins, they include some bread to thicken the mix).

    I love your blog and I have been reading it since last September (even though sometimes I have to search for some word in the English dictionary ;) ). Please, keep doing what you do. It is a great inspiration for us.


  4. You are so makes me so happy to know that you are reading it and that you like it!! If I ever use a word that you can't figure out...pls let me know, and we will figure it out!! My six year old daughter is taught ONLY in Spanish--no english! so she could help too!! : )