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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 epicurious.com 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.

            1. Don't cook anything. I do something similar to what chefj posted but with less olive oil and i seed the cucumber. However, even using super fresh tomatoes i'll usually add an 8oz can of original V8. My so called secret ingredient- just adds a touch of acid and salt ( sometimes the super fresh tomatoes are quite sweet).

              1. I don't think you need to add juice either, especially if you are not using roma tomatoes (just keep all the juice from your diced tomatoes). But if your tomatoes are really sweet, you might want to add a jalapeno or two for some kick as this recipe indicates. And, if your tomatoes are really meaty, you may need to add some fresh tomato juice to get the soupy texture you like.

                Here's how mrdiva and I do it, and while it might not be super-authentic, we like it this way. I learned to make it and adjusted it in TX, so it's a little spicy:

                For this recipe I puree just half of the vegetables, giving the soup a nice, chunky texture

                Yield: 6 servings

                8 garden tomatoes, with juice and seeds
                1 English hothouse cucumber, chopped
                1 red bell pepper, chopped
                1 stalk celery, chopped
                1 sweet medium onion, chopped
                1-2 jalapenos, seeded and finely chopped
                2 garlic cloves, minced
                Palmful of cilantro, chopped
                1 T. red wine vinegar
                1 T. capers
                1 T. chili powder
                2 T. olive oil
                2 limes, juiced
                1 slice of bread, torn into pieces
                Salt and pepper

                In a large bowl, add half of the chopped vegetables, the cilantro, vinegar, capers, chili powder, olive oil, lime juice, and torn bread pieces. With an immersion or regular blender, coarsely puree. Stir in the rest of the chopped vegetables, and season to taste with salt and pepper. If you would like a spicier gazpacho, add pinches of cayenne until the heat level is to your liking. Chill for at least 2 hours before serving. Serve garnished with avocado slices.

                1. Serious Eats has a terrific tutorial on gazpacho that calls for only fresh ingredients.

                  1. Here's Jose Andres' recipe... makes at the very least an excellent starting point:


                    1. I posted my recipe on another thread. No need to use processed ingredients and so easy to make, especially when tomatoes are ripe.


                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Londonlinda

                        Londonlinda, your link doesn't take me to your recipe. Can you post here? Thanks.

                        1. re: Deborah R.

                          It was on the thread about hand blenders, hence the first sentence!

                          I use mine a lot - but would actually think it worthwhile if only for making cold soups this time of year. Quickly whizzing up ripe tomatoes, red pepper, cucumber, garlic and spring onion takes seconds. Season with salt, black pepper and a little sugar, pop in fridge for half an hour, serve with a drizzle of olive oil - summer in a bowl
                          I should add I don't peel or de-seed the tomatoes.

                      2. Bittman had a great Gazpacho overview and sampling of recipes in today's NY Times: