I’m a fan of this refreshing, chilled, tomato soup, probably because my mum made this retro recipe for me growing up. But especially in the summertime, gazpacho is my favourite light and refreshing meal here to beat the heat. And when made with the season’s best ripe produce — oh boy — there’s nothing better.
GAZPACHO IS RETRO
Gazpacho started to show up in in the 1960s cook books with foreign cuisine recipes, such as Round the World Cookery by Marguerite Patten (1964) The traditional way to make gazpacho was to pass the chopped ingredients through a sieve, which can be quite time-consuming. Gratefully, electric blenders were popularized in the 1960s, so this recipe became very easy to make. By the 1970s, Gazpacho gained popularity and was featured in many general cookbooks. And after the hot summer of 1976, it was as a staple recipe in many homes.
So if you or your elderly loved one is craving a bowl (or a glass with a straw), here is my go-to gazpacho retro recipe that I absolutely love. It’s quick and easy to make in under 20 minutes! There’s no need to heat up your stove or oven! Just prep your ingredients on a cutting board. And blend.
- 2 lbs Tomatoes: Roma tomatoes or what medium, round, soft-skinned tomatoes on the vine are standard for traditional gazpacho. But really, any ripe, juicy, fresh tomatoes will do. There is no need to peel your tomatoes for gazpacho, but I do recommend scooping out the middle white flesh and seeds.
- 1 Cucumber: 6-inch Persian are traditionally used, peeled and seeded. But I usually just toss in half of an English cucumber instead. Just as good!
- 1 Green bell pepper: Green bell peppers, specifically, are a must for a traditional gazpacho. But I’d say that any colour of bell pepper you have on hand will do.
- 1/2 Red onion: Just half of a small red onion, peeled.
- 1 Garlic: I use two small garlic cloves, or one large clove.
- 4 tablespoons olive oil: Many traditional gazpacho recipes are loaded with lots of olive oil. But nowadays, we cut down the amount of oil to make the soup a bit healthier.
- 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar: If you can’t find sherry vinegar at your grocery store, you can sub in some red wine vinegar.
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin: adding cumin to your gazpacho provides a subtle, earthy note to this recipe
- 3-4 inches bread: Leftover bread is the key to the texture of authentic gazpacho, helping to thicken it slightly and round out the flavours. For optimal texture, be sure to discard the crusts, and soak the bread completely with water, ring out the water with your hands, then add the bread to the soup ingredients and puree.
EASY TO MAKE RETRO RECIPE
To make homemade gazpacho soup, simply:
- Puree the soup: Combine all of your gazpacho ingredients in a blender and puree for 1 minute or more. (I blend for 2 minutes because I love mine super-smooth.)
- Chill: Transfer the soup to a sealed container and refrigerate for 3- 4 hours.
- Serve: Then serve the soup nice and cold, garnished with your favourite toppings.
GAZPACHO SOUP TOPPINGS
With such a simple pureed soup, toppings are a fun twist! I like to add any combination of the following to this retro recipe:
- Fresh herbs.
- Fresh-cracked black pepper.
- Olive oil.
- Diced ham.
- Chopped hard-boiled eggs.
Or, of course, it’s probably most common to just sprinkle a few of the leftover chopped gazpacho veggies on top (such as tomato, green pepper, onion or cucumber). Whatever you like!
SERVING THIS RETRO RECIPE
Gazpacho needs to be thoroughly chilled. So plan to blend up the retro recipe a few hours before serving, so that it has ample time to cool off in the fridge before your meal. Then, you can either serve gazpacho soup in a bowl or mug, garnished with your loved one’s favourite toppings. Or to keep things super simple and serve gazpacho over ice in glasses with a straw! Enjoy your meal, my friends.
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