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Jul 28, 2014 08:27 AM

Gazpacho question

Hello --

I have a bounty of tomatoes on hand, and thought I'd make gazpacho, a soup I love but for some reason have never attempted at home.

I'm surprised to find that all the recipes I'm seeing online call for tomato juice. It seems to defeat the point of using fresh ripe tomatoes.

Is anybody aware of a way to make gazpacho without using any pre-processed ingredients? It ought to be possible to cook down and chill tomatoes to create a base, or so I would think. What do you think?

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  1. I don't cook the tomatoes at all. I throw some tomatoes, shallots, salt, garlic [not too much] and cucumbers into a blender and blend. Then I add some fresh basil leaves and some sherry vinegar and pulse a few times. Taste, adjust, enjoy.

    For company, I will drizzle some olive oil in as well.

    I do realize that peppers would be a common addition but I think bell peppers are nasty, so I don't.

    I just did a google search and out of my first five hits for "recipe gazpacho" only one uses tomato juice.

    1 Reply
    1. re: smtucker

      There is no need to use Tomato juice and I agree that it kills the fresh flavor of the Gazpacho.
      Gazpacho Andaluz Adapted From "A Season in Spain"
      1 Garlic Clove
      1 Small Onion
      1 C Cucumber peeled and roughly diced
      1 C Red Bell Pepper roughly diced
      3 C Ripe Tomato roughly diced
      Purée all in a Blender.
      While running add:
      .5 C Olive Oil
      .25 C Red Wine or Sherry Vinegar
      Season with S&P
      Strain if desired
      If you want a thicker Soup add a Couple of Slices of crustless white Bread when puréeing the Vegetables

    2. I have made gazpacho hundreds if not thousands of times over the decades. If I have home-grown tomatoes I use no tomato juice, it absolutely is not needed. I do scald them to remove the skins. I also use home-grown, home canned tomatoes which have been cooked a little in the canning process. To me, that's the best gazpacho - the tomatoes seem to get a little winey with a little age in the bottle.

      If you're using store-bought tomatoes, you're going to need tomato juice, though. It's nothing but filler but necessary with those less juicier, card-boardy supermarket tomatoes.

      1. OP again -- these are very juicy farmer's market tomatoes; I guess I wasn't explicit about that. That's why I dislike the idea of adding tomato juice.

        smtucker -- I don't know what recipes your Google search pulled up. I went to and the Food Network, two sites I trust, and every recipe I saw there -- I must have looked at a dozen -- called for tomato juice.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Deborah R.

          Sounds like you have the basis for a wonderful gazpacho, modified to your own preferences. Enjoy!

        2. Many on line recipes are geared to making dishes when produce is not necessarily at its peak. This time of year if your tomatoes are ripe and juicy enough you shouldn't need extra tomato juice. You can juice extra tomatoes instead of buying tomato juice. It's only there to make the finished soup, well, soupier. I like to marinate chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, red bell peppers, onion and garlic with vinegar of your choice plus olive oil and lemon juice as well as spices(Aleppo pepper flakes, fresh thyme leaves etc) overnight then mix in a blender the next day along with some ground almonds and pieces of day old bread. Add juice as needed to reach the right consistency.

          1. I like to make the heartier version called salmorejo. Below is a good version from Jose Andres


            No tomato juice in the ones I make. If tomato's aren't in season, I don't make it.