The beauty of Gazpacho: Fresh ingredients, super healthy and super delicious – plus you can customize to your own taste, make it fancy or just do a quick version and add your own favorite garnishes. This is a super easy food processor version, but for a more elegant look, dice the vegetables by hand and allow them to float, or puree the soup and float a few select, perfectly diced vegetables on top.
I prefer this clean, all vegetable Gazpacho over the bread based versions, but I can’t imagine having this without a loaf of Crusty Bread on the side.
It makes a lot of sense, when making Gazpacho, to make it seasonally and use the lowest priced, good tomato at the market. This is a case where canned just won’t do, and neither will an olive oil that is mediocre. If you have a good bottle around for drizzling, this is the recipe to use it in.
You may want to plan to make extra – throw it in a jar and bring to work. It’s so good, you may very well find yourself pulling it out for your morning break!
Frugal Hausfrau’s Gazpacho,
- 1 cucumber, peeled and seeded, coarsely chopped
- 1 bell pepper, cored, seeded and coarsely chopped
- 1 small onion, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup packed parsley leaves
- 2 1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes, blanched, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped, about 6 to 7 medium
- 1 cup tomato juice (or V-8)
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced or grated
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
Finely chop, but do not puree all ingredients. Do this in batches in your food processor. Stir well and refrigerate for at least two hours. Serve well chilled.
To easily blanch, put some water on in a big pot to a good simmer. Cut an “X” in the top and bottom of the tomato and drop in the water for about a minute. You’ll see the skin recede just a bit – watch them – they’ll taste freshest if you don’t keep them in so long they start to cook. I like to drop them into very cold or ice water to cool them down and stop them from cooking any more. The peel comes right off and you’ll want to seed over a strainer in a bowl and work the juice through. I ALWAYS use fresh tomatoes – the extra work is justifiable here.
Note: If it’s just family, I often don’t peel, seed or core, depending on the tomato. If there are a ton of seeds I take them out. I figure it’s all good for you. If I do peel, seed and core, I save it for my morning smoothie.
Put Your Own Spin on It:
- There are many, many versions of Gazpacho – they vary from place to place, family to family and season to season. Make this at home to suit you by varying the ingredients. Use a little hot sauce or red pepper if you don’t have jalapeno. Vary the vinegar for a different taste. I’ve even had gazpacho flavored like bloody Mary’s with Worcestershire and Tabasco with a jigger of Vodka or flavored like a shrimp cocktail. I imagine, if you’re a fan, you could use Clamato. Add a Mexican Salsa twist and garnish with Avocado…suit your fancy.
- Some recipes use bread – I prefer the clean taste of the vegetables, with maybe some croutons on top – that, of course, doesn’t mean I’m right! If you want a thicker version, add in torn up bread. The No Knead Crusty Artisan Bread is perfect for this recipe, and makes great croutons, too. Only minutes of hands on work, it does need to be mixed up the day before: bonus – about a quarter to make.
- The other main variance is in the texture – my recipe is quick and easy, done in the food processor. You can certainly puree your vegetables until they are basically juice and then add in a few finely chopped vegetables for a garnish. All the vegetables could be hand diced and floated in the soup, instead.
- Speaking of garnishes: You can use toasted croutons, bits of vegetables, or even shrimp, or just go very simply with parsley or chives.
Let’s talk about how to save money/time on this recipe:
- Use a coupon matching site! One of my favorites in my area is Pocket Your Dollars, but every store has a group of enthusiastic Coupon Matchers. Do not discount the savings! I check their site every week, even if I don’t “need” to go to the store and often find bargains I can’t pass up.
- Follow my 12 Strategies – You’ll see them on the upper drop down menu of every page and how I apply them, below.
- Don’t get discouraged if your prices don’t match mine! Keep shopping at the best prices and your fridge/freezer and pantry will be stocked with sales priced ingredients.
- Read below for additional tips as well as throughout the recipe, for saving time and managing food.
- This recipe gets better after two hours, but improves even more over a few days – double it and have it for lunch or snacks. The olive oil may harden a bit in a cold fridge – keep it toward the front of your fridge and it will be less likely to happen. If it does, set it out at room temp for a few minutes or even pop it in the microwave for just seconds.
- Onion: Buy onions whenever you see them drop in price and store in a cool, dark place away from any potatoes. I look for them at Aldi’s, and pick up a lot of my basic vegetables there for about half the price of a regular grocery store. Cost for the onion: 66 cents a pound, an onion is about 20 cents.
- Bell Pepper: These can vary in pricing depending on the color, and of course, are always cheapest in the summer. There are two types of sales, per pound or per pepper. I usually look for the per pepper pricing; in my area it’s generally cheaper – I’ll then buy the biggest, most gorgeous ones I can find. The peppers are often bagged and sold by a unit price, too. A really good price in our area is about a dollar a pepper for the red, yellow or orange ones, and 50 to 75 cents for the green bell. Great prices come around every now and then and don’t seem to match the seasons! I usually try to stretch them when I can. They really do add an important flavor ingredient to a lot of dishes. Aldi’s, again, is another great place to find peppers – sometimes I’ll pick up the tri-color packages for $1.79. Cost: 50 cents.
- Tomatoes: The Roma tomatoes were on sale, so I used them instead of regular tomatoes – I paid $1.49 for 20 ounces ($1.03 a pound) Cost $2.60. Remember, there are scales at the stores to judge 2 1/2 pounds, but this recipe isn’t really that particular.
- Cucumber: Another vegetable I buy at Aldi’s. A large one is about 25 cents. I peel, slice, and then run a spoon through the center portion, over a strainer in my bowl so I don’t lose any juices.
- Garlic: Runs around 59 to 99 cents a head in my area in the boxes. It can be a little tricky to discern the best prices because it can also be bought by the pound, and generally you’ll pay less this way. I figure about 8 cents.
- Parsley: I grow in my garden and bring indoors to kill over the winter! Just in case, I do chop and freeze some in ice-cube trays and they’re perfect for this. I throw them in a strainer and leave out, of pop in the microwave and then strain out. Cost 0.
- Tomato Juice or V-8. Why not use V-8? I can get it on sale with a coupon for a buck, something that I’ve never seen happen with Tomato Juice and I get a few more nutrients. Another dirt cheap option is to save your juice when you use canned tomatoes. I throw it in a Ziploc and put it in the freezer. Cost: about 16 cents.
- Olive Oil: My strategy for buying olive oil is to look for sales and combine with coupons. I look for about 8 cents an ounce (a tablespoon) so cost for this recipe is about 25 cents. Save the good stuff for drizzling and finishing.
- Vinegar: Every so often they’ll have coupons for vinegar, making name brand lower than store price. Best time to buy is generally around Easter for the basic White or Apple Cider. Summer is usually when you’ll find the good cooking vinegar on sale. I’ll find sale prices, too, around Thanksgiving and Christmas. Stock up on the best prices because they keep forever. Often sales are not advertised, and you can find coupons, now and then, for both the basic and the fancier vinegar. Three tablespoons are about 5 cents.
- Jalapeno: Freakishly expensive by the pound, they’re so small they’re very affordable. One small was 30 cents. Slice off the stem end, then slice down the middle. Use a spoon to very easily scrape off the ribs and seeds. The spoon conforms perfectly to the inside of the pepper. I don’t know why I always see Chefs on tv struggle with these – perhaps they’re overly attached to their knives! If I didn’t have jalapeno, I’d use a few red pepper flakes or several dashes of your favorite hot sauce.
If I were there while you were making this, I’d be looking over your shoulder and saying, “Are you gonna waste that?” referring to the hulls and seeds. Add that to a pitcher, pour in water, add a tea bag if you wish, and place in your fridge overnight. Strain the next day and enjoy. I call this “spa water.”
Cal 408; Cal fr fat 382 (but the good kind – and it’s a teaspoon and 1/2 per serving; tot fat 43g; sat fat 3g; sod 394g; tot carb 5.3g; fib 1.47g; sug 2.47g; prot 1.1 g
My Pay Off:
Gazpacho is a mostly no cook meal that is amazingly healthy and fresh – and easy to make! Just work over a bowl when you prep your vegetables so you don’t have a huge mess to clean up.