Gazpacho - Spoonriver Cookbook

by Brenda Langton, Tastemaker in Residence

Gazpacho is a cold mixed-vegetable soup. There are many variations—some blended, some made with chunks of bread. Use what you have at hand. Add more garlic or hot peppers to suit your taste. Chop, grate, and dice vegetables as appropriate to create a nice mix of textures. / / Make s 6 cups


4 large whole tomatoes

1 small cucumber

1 red bell pepper

3/4 cup shredded carrot

1/2 cup thinly sliced celery

1/4 cup chopped sweet onion

2 Tbsp lemon or lime juice

2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 tsp salt

2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil

1⁄8 tsp cayenne

1 fresh jalape.o (optional)

2 Tbsp olive oil

1/2 cup parsley, coarsely chopped


  1. Peel and seed the tomatoes, saving the juice in a bowl. To peel tomatoes, cut a small x in the blossom (non-stem) end. Drop them into boiling water until the skin begins to loosen, usually less than 30 seconds. Rinse the tomatoes under cold water to stop the cooking, and remove the peels with a paring knife. To seed the tomato, cut a wedge around the core and remove it, then cut the tomato in half. Squeeze out the seeds into a bowl. Strain and reserve the juice. Dice three tomatoes, and juice the fourth. (You’ll need about 1 cup of tomato juice. You can supplement with canned tomato juice if necessary.) Place the diced tomatoes in a large bowl.

  2. Peel and seed the cucumber. Dice it and add it to the bowl with the tomatoes.

  3. Dice the bell pepper. Add it to the tomatoes and cucumbers along with the carrot, celery, and onion, Add the garlic, salt, and basil. Stir well. Add the cayenne and jalape.o, if using. Add the olive oil, lemon juice, parsley, and reserved tomato juice. Stir well. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed. Serve the soup cold or at room temperature. Garnish with croutons and black olives.