Classic Gazpacho

Classic Gazpacho

During the heat of summer, I can hardly think of a better meal than Classic Gazpacho. Cool and refreshing, this Classic Gazpacho gets a bit of richness from the olive oil, a good tang from the vinegar, and just the faintest touch of heat from a little jalapeno.

Classic Gazpacho

Classic Gazpacho

This is a super clean, no-bread recipe, and I practically crave it! Seriously, when I used to bring this to lunch for work, I’d often have it finished in the morning! That says a lot – it’s not like we’re talking a donut here! Just pure, unadulterated veggies.

About Classic Gazpacho:

I have literally been making this Gazpacho for decades and loving it for just as long. I’m expecting that once you try it, you will feel the same. I think if you’re a frugal foodie, you’re going to love all the helps and hints (below) on how to make this classic Spanish recipe a treat for your tastebuds and for your wallet.

One of my favorite things about this Gazpacho is that it’s not pureed; the veggies are broken down into small bits in the food processor and it has the most wonderful texture and flavor. Then it’s topped with a few finely chopped veggies used in the soup; just save a little of each out before it goes into the food processor.

It’s interesting that I really don’t see this particular style of Gazpacho any longer. Maybe because it’s just a little more work than a blended and pureed version like my Easy Gazpacho with Cherry Tomato Salsa. That’s a great recipe too, but this one? It’s a little more work but really something special.

Making Classic Gazpacho:

There is one part of this recipe that’s a little fussy but so worthwhile to do. The tomatoes are blanched and shocked and the skin is removed. The process is in the directions below. It takes a little time but is super easy to do.

Make sure to wash all your vegetables first and work clean when preparing any items that go into this gazpacho because it won’t be cooked – you can’t count on heat destroying any microorganisms.

This can be a bit of a mess to make. I make sure to have my cutting board with a ridge around it handy, a strainer, and a couple of bowls, one to catch the juices and another for the veggies as they come out of the food processor. Empty your sink so your garbage disposal is at the ready and you can rinse your tools asap when finished.

You don’t want bits of veggies over any dishes that might be in the sink and you’ll want to rinse right away because if these bits of veggies dry on your equipment, it’s not fun getting them off. There is a lot of veggie waste, even if you make spa water, below; there’s really more than I am comfortable using the disposal for, so it is helpful to make sure there is room in the trash. If you’re organized things go much more smoothly.

The only other thing that maybe needs to be emphasized is to work the food processor so the gazpacho is finely chopped, especially the tomatoes. Ideally, it should be fine enough to sip from a mug or glass (or a jar, which is how I always liked to bring it to work.) If the processor doesn’t seem to be doing the job, add a bit of the tomato juices to get it going.

And don’t forget to taste and adjust before serving. This will taste differently when you make it and it’s at lukewarm than it will when chilled. It should be a little bracing.

Crusty Bread

Crusty Bread

Options for this or any Gazpacho:

The beauty of Gazpacho:  Fresh ingredients, super healthy and super delicious – plus you can customize to your own taste. While this, as written, is a super easy food processor version (although preparing the tomatoes is a bit of work) you always have the option of changing it up a bit.

The Gazpacho can be pureed and just a few nicely chopped vegetables can float on the top for a more elegant look. If you’re feeling really flush, add a few small shrimp as a topping.

If your preference is for a Gazpacho with bread, go ahead and add a slice or two (without the crust) to the blender and it’s also wonderful. Or if you’d like, puree the soup and float a few croutons on top. Or just serve it as I like to, with my Crusty Bread alongside. Actually, I have a hard time imagining this soup without that wonderful bread!

This particular recipe calls for Red Wine Vinegar. It’s so good with a nice refreshing tang but also good with sherry vinegar, or white wine vinegar if you’re so inclined. You might want to use a little more of either than you would of the Sherry.


You’ll want to store your Gazpacho in the fridge, with the Gazpacho in one container and any vegetable topping in another. Both are best used before three or four days.

Imperfect Farm Stand Tomatoes

Imperfect Farm Stand Tomatoes

Saving Money on Classic Gazpacho:

Gazpacho embraces simplicity with a hint of extravagance and a touch of elegance. The big question: How do we turn ordinary tomatoes and garden veggies into a chilled masterpiece that’s as easy on your purse as it is on your palate? Let’s get into it.

  1. First of all, know the best pricing for this savory summer soup is going to be during mid to late summer when the veggies used are in season.
  2. If you can’t find great prices at farm stands or farmers markets at least time your gazpacho making to the sales at the grocery, or seek out alternatives like your big box store or discount markets like Aldi or Lidl. If you are near an Asian market you might find great deals.
  3. Know your pricing so you can easily compare and know where the best place for you to shop is based on your own personal preferences. You might not have time or energy for running all over the place so buy where the items you buy most are the best value.
  4. When you get your veggies home, make them last longer with this simple trick: Toss them in the fridge in their bags, but once they’re chilled, take them out, turn the bags inside out, and replace your veggies. Condensation promotes rot and this two-minute exercise keeps your veggies out of that condensation that forms inside the bag as they are cooling in the fridge.
  5. Don’t waste any of your veggies or fruit! Wash them well and use peelings and sometimes seeds to flavor your “Spa Water.”
Spa Water on a Budget: This one is made from cucumber seeds and peelings

Spa Water on a Budget: This one is made from cucumber seeds and peelings

Now let’s talk savings that are specific to the individual components of this recipe:

Tomatoes: We’re not gonna use those snobby heirloom tomatoes that cost an arm and a leg. Seek out the uglies. Along with the “character” they have tons of flavor and you may find them at a discount. A friend and I split a crate we found at a farm stand at a steep discount. If that’s not an option, see hint #2, above.

Cucumber: Look for sales on cucumbers – you’ll find them on sale often. Generally, our plain old US Kirby-style cucumbers are less than the fancy ones, even after the seed removal is factored in. They can last for ages in the fridge as long as they aren’t sitting with a bag tightly wrapped around them. Give them a bit of air.

Bell Pepper: Bell peppers can be super pricey! Know where to buy them or buy them on sale. If you should happen to have some languishing in the fridge, use it in recipes like this where looks don’t matter; a few wrinkles never hurt anyone. This recipe calls for any bell pepper but a red is nice partially because of the sweetness and partially because it helps the coloring. The reds are often higher, so if you’re budget-minded and aren’t concerned about the bright red, use what is cheapest.

Onion: Onions are on sale every now and then and keep for ages stored in a dark place away from potatoes. You may find lower prices on bags of onions and yellow onions are often cheaper than white. Check the bag carefully, especially at discount grocers.-

Olive Oil:  A drizzle of olive oil adds luxuriousness without going overboard. Quality trumps quantity here. Keep several types of olive oil for cooking and for flavoring. A good virgin olive oil is what you are looking for in this recipe (it doesn’t have to be a great one, but not the cheapest) and you’re likely to find great pricing at your buyer’s club or discount stores.

Vinegar: Surprise! Vinegar pricing is seasonal even if vinegar isn’t. Basic white & apple cider along with the fancy varieties of vinegar will usually be on sale during Lent and look for summer specials, too. The sales are often unadvertised and again, this is a great item to find at your buyer’s club or discount stores.

So there you have it, my frugal friends – a classic gazpacho that’s bursting with flavors and light on the wallet. Remember, in the world of frugal cooking, creativity is your best ingredient. Until next time, keep those wallets full and those taste buds delighted!



Classic Gazpacho

  • Author: mollie kirby
  • Total Time: 30 minutes plus chill
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Soup
  • Cuisine: Spanish


  • 2 1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes, blanched, peeled, seeded, and coarsely chopped, about 6 to 7 medium
  • 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, choppe
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced or grated
  • 1 cup tomato juice (or V-8)
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • optional additional chopped vegetables, a drizzle of vinegar, olive oil, or croutons for garnish


To easily blanch tomatoes and prepare for gazpacho: Using a large pot, bring water to a simmer. Cut a shallow “X” in the top and bottom of the tomato and drop in the water for about a minute. The skin will recede just a bit when they are ready. Watch carefully – the tomatoes will taste freshest if removed before they begin to cook. Immediately place in ice water to stop the cooking process. Peel over a strainer in a bowl to catch the juice. Remove the seeds from the flesh of the tomato and reserve the tomato. Push and work the seeds against the strainer to extract the most juice possible. Reserve the juice.

For the texture shown, finely chop (almost to the point of a fine mince,) but do not puree, the tomatoes first, then empty the food processor into your bowl. Then work on the bell pepper, cucumber, onion until broken down into very fine bits. If your food processor isn’t large enough, work in two batches and leave the second in the food processor. Last, add the parsley, jalapeno, and garlic to the veggies in the food processor and give it a final whir or two.

Add each batch as it is finished to a large bowl. Add in the reserved juices from the tomato and either the V8 or tomato juice along with the vinegar, olive oil, and salt. Stir well and refrigerate for at least two hours to blend the flavors.  Serve well chilled; taste and adjust flavorings before serving.

Garnish with additional chopped vegetables, a drizzle of vinegar, olive oil, or croutons.


  • It is easiest to pulse the tomatoes first, then the harder vegetables. After they are broken down, add the parsley, jalapeno, and garlic to the vegetables because otherwise, it’s too small of an amount to process well without turning them into mush.
  • If the processor needs a little help at any time add some of the tomato juice to get things moving and continue to process.
  • Do taste and adjust before serving. Gazpacho will taste different after it is chilled. Add more vinegar if needed (not all red wine vinegar is the same) before salt. You will probably find you don’t need as much salt once the vinegar balance is right.)

Keywords: Bell Peppers, Cucumber, Easy Recipe, Frugal Hausfrau, Gazpacho, Soup, Tomatoes, V-8, Vegetarian Meal

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Classic Gazpacho - Clean version with no bread, but add it or serve it if you'd like.

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