Red versus yellow. Chunky versus smooth. Garnished versus not. If you’re a gazpacho person, chances are, you’ve got strong opinions about how it’s best enjoyed. (Some folks even like it hot!)
Traditions vary wildly: In Andalusia, in the South of Spain, they eschew bowls in favor of tumblers, garnishes in favor of none at all, and add zero bread to the mix. (That’s called “salmorejo.”) José Andrés, Spanish native and humanitarian chef, gave us a few ideas about how to enjoy yours more. (Pro tip: You’re not using enough olive oil!) But we wanted to put gazpacho front and center, where it belongs, with a few of our favorite cooling recipes.
Call it “sunshine soup” and watch the kids come running for this sungold tomato gazpacho. Andalusian gazpacho employs just cucumber, tomato, sherry vinegar, salt, pepper, garlic, a pepper, onion and olive oil. But there are many wondrous riffs around. We love David Nayfeld’s homage to the sweet sungold cherry tomato, which he balances against a backbone of sourdough, gypsy peppers, watermelon and more. (And uh, cleaning the immersion blender sure is a piece of cake! )
Sometimes you just want to listen to Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty. Sometimes you just want a classic tomato gazpacho. This is the five-star recipe you want. It has little “extras,” like fresh thyme and a foxy dollop of crème fraîche for a garnish. The rest, though, is as classic as it gets, and boy, is it good.
Sometimes the gazpacho ingredients are right there in front of you, classic-style. Sometimes, they’re hiding, poking their noses out like the proverbial groundhog. Showcasing one of the traditional ingredients, such as the cucumber, can end in a stellar spoonful of soup. To wit: Texan chef Alexandra Gates’s beautiful summer cucumber and chile gazpacho. It’s got the peppers, garlic, onions and olive oil in there, but no tomatoes. They’re swapped out for a fistful of fresh dill, basil, cilantro, jalapeños, mint and parsley. It’s a garden in a bowl, really, and light as can be, because there’s no bread.
One of the beautiful things about this soup is its minimal prep time. Yellow tomato gazpacho is no exception. We’re talkin’ 20 minutes, in your blender, and you’re there. This sunny dreamboat can be prepared up to a day in advance. Dot it with sweet halved cherry tomatoes, which contrast beautifully with in-season yellow tomatoes, parsley and minced cucumber. It’s as refreshing as it looks.
We don’t have to tell you to use the very best tomatoes with these recipes, right? This stunning tomato gazpacho with roasted pepper, cucumber and avocado uses a full five pounds of ripe tomatoes. You’re going to want to use the very best stuff you can find. (See that bag towards the back of the farmers’ market with the lightly shriveled, banged-up big bag? If they smell super-ripe and aren’t moldy or cut, they will be amazing.) Remember, too, with all these recipes, there’s no harm in a swirl of olive oil on top. It gives you the traditional silky mouthfeel you crave with this dish. So go on, get out there, and…