This traditional cold Spanish soup is perfect as a cold appetisier on a hot summer's day. If you've never tried a chilled soup like this spicy gazpacho before then I'm sure you'll be surprised. It's fresh and full of flavour including a spicy kick from the jalapenos.
When I was younger I remember hearing about gazpacho and wondering who on earth would want to eat a cold soup? I think I imagined a cold Heinz-style tomato soup and decided I had to avoid it at all costs!
It was only as an adult when I couldn't avoid it and ended up having to eat it that I discovered just how wrong I'd been! It was nothing like the wierd cold mixture I'd imagined.
I immediately fell in love with the vibrant flavours of fresh salad vegetables with that tangy kick of vinegar. Even without any chilli heat it was something special but the added jalapenos in this version make it extra special. I love spicy recipes and this gazpacho definitely makes me happy!
What ingredients do you need for spicy gazpacho?
To make this spicy gazpacho you'll need:
- Tomatoes - Use large fresh sweet tomatoes, not cherry tomatoes for this as they are too small and have less of the tomato flesh and more skin.
- Red onion - You can replace this with Spanish onion or even normal brown onions.
- Red pepper - Yellow or orange peppers are also fine.
- Garlic cloves - I prefer fresh garlic but you can use garlic paste or puree.
- Jalapenos - These give this gazpacho it's spicy kick. Use more or less to suit your family's tolerance to chilli.
- Seasoning - A little salt and black pepper
- White bread - You can omit this but it thickens the soup and adds a little body to it.
- Extra virgin olive oil - Do use a good quality olive oil for this.
- Red wine vinegar - Replace it with sherry vinegar or white wine vinegar if you don't have red wine vinegar
- Cold water
How do you make gazpacho?
Gazpacho couldn't be easier to make. Just chop up all the ingredients and put them in a blender.
Before making it you do need to soak the bread in water, ideally for about an hour but I have often made this after just a quick 10 minute soak!
After blending the gazpacho it's important to taste it and adjust any of the ingredients. Maybe add more jalapenos, more salt and pepper, more olive oil or more vinegar.
If you're unsure about anything it's always best to add less to begin with as it's really simple to add more and quickly blitz everything again.
After making the gazpacho, chill it in the fridge until you're ready to serve. You'll probably need to give it a stir before serving as it can separate a little.
What kind of blender do you need?
You can use a jug blender or a food processor. As gazpacho is full of raw vegetables, it's best to use a powerful blender (I use my Froothie Evolve) so you end up with a smooth cold soup.
However, if you just have a stick blender it will still work. Whatever you use, you may need to blend the soup in 2 batches.
Do you need to remove the tomato skins?
Personally I don't think it's necessary. I use a powerful blender so I don't notice any unblended bits of skin and wouldn't mind them anyway.
However, if you do want to remove the skins, just cut a small cross into the tops of the tomatoes and put them in boiling water for up to a minute. After draining them you should easily be able to peel the skins off.
Why does gazpacho have bread in?
Traditionally it is thought that gazpacho was a good way of not wasting bread that was going stale. Adding it to a soup meant it made the soup more filling as well as avoiding food waste.
These days some people do omit the bread but I like to keep it in a it makes the soup a little more filling and makes the texture a little more creamy.
How can you adapt this spicy gazpacho?
Do feel free to vary the quantities depending on what you have at home. You can add more or fewer tomatoes for example. You can add extra peppers or less onion if you are not quite so keen on it.
If you are worried that it will be too garlicy with 2 garlic cloves, just add one to begin with and after blending and tasting you can add another one if you want.
If you don't have any jalapenos you can omit them or replace them with a different kind of chilli pepper. As the soup is raw and not cooked which reduces the fieriness of chilli peppers, you may want to remove the seeds from any chilli peppers you add.
Alternatively you can add some chilli flakes or a little cayenne pepper instead of chillies.
How long does it stay fresh for?
If you keep this gazpacho in the fridge it will keep well for at least three days. Just stir it before serving.
Can you freeze gazpacho?
Yes, if you have too much you can freeze it for up to 6 months. Defrost it in the fridge overnight before serving.
What else can you do with the leftovers?
If you just have a little left you can stir it into a tomato pasta sauce as you are cooking it, or a tomato based stew. Just be awaare that gazpacho has quite a strong flavour and it will definitely affect the flavour of whatever you add it to.
As I love curries and spicy stews, I personally find that leftover gazpacho is a great addition to a curry. I normally cook down a curry paste, either homemade or bought, add the meat and vegetables and then stir in the leftover gazpacho.
More Spanish inspired recipes
I love Spanish food, not just gazpacho. If you also like Spanish inspired recipe then do check out one of these:
- 420 g cucumber diced
- 550 g tomatoes diced
- 1 red onion diced
- 1 red pepper diced
- 2 garlic cloves diced or crushed
- 1 tablespoon jalapenos
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 slice of bread crusts removed
- 40 ml extra virgin olive oil
- 25 ml red wine vinegar
- 100 ml cold water
- Before making the soup, remove the crusts from the bread and put it in a bowl of cold water to soak. Leave it for at least 10 minutes but up to an hour ideally.
- Chop all the vegetables and put them in a blender. Blitz.
- Taste and adjust any seasonings. Blitz again.
- Put in the fridge to chill before serving. I use cold ingredients and prefer to chill for at least an hour.
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