During the heat of summer, I can hardly think of a better meal than Classic Gazpacho. Cool and refreshing, this 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. 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!
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, 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 your preference is for a Gazpacho with bread, go ahead and add a few slices (without the crust) and it’s still wonderful. 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. Actually, I have a hard time imagining this soup without that wonderful bread!
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 – it’s so good, you may very well find yourself pulling it out for your morning break, too!
- 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
For the texture show, finely chop, but do not puree, all ingredients, in batches in a food processor. Stir well and refrigerate for at least two hours to blend the flavors and chill. Serve well chilled.
To easily blanch tomatoes and prepare for gazpacho: Using a large pot, bring water to a simmer. Cut an “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. Push and work the seeds against the strainer to extract the most juice possible.
Garnish with additional chopped vegetables, a drizzle of vinegar or olive oil, croutons or cooked shrimp.
- 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.
- Many of the “discards” for this recipe can be used – consider adding peels and seeds (well scrubbed if using the cucumber) in a Green Smoothie or use them to flavor Spa Water.
From the kitchen of http://www.frugalhausfrau.com
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.
- Consider adding additional flavor to your Gazpacho by flavoring it like a Bloody Mary with Worcestershire and Tabasco, perhaps with a jigger of Vodka tossed in.
- If you’re a seafood fan, consider using Clamato and adding a little shrimp to the garnish.
- Gazpacho can easily take on a Mexican flair: Increase the jalapeno, add a little red onion and lime and garnish with Avocado.
- 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.
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.