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Stupid Simple Gazpacho Recipe

When a vegan in Spain, if in doubt, order gazpacho. That was my game plan, as I knew I would likely find this vegan dish on most menus. Quite refreshing during the warmer spring and summer months, this soup is also one of my favorite recipes to whip up in like 20 minutes flat.

Picture of Gazpacho soup.
Gazpacho: super simple vegan soup.

Gazpacho is meant to be served cold, and don’t you forget it.  The olive oil tour I attended in Granada included a trip to a small town restaurant where the menu included the option of gazpacho as a starter. Two teenage British girls on the tour decided to ask to send back their cold gazpacho to the kitchen to be warmed to the chagrin of their mother. With a confused look of near shock, the waitress insisted this would ruin the soup and refused politely.

While digging around on the internet, I also found a recipe for a White Gazpacho that looks tantalizing! Anyone ever tried or made white gazpacho?

On to the recipe, and seriously you can’t screw this one up, folks.

Ingredients:

  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 small cucumber, diced
  • 4 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • Parsley to garnish

    Cooking instructions:

    Blend all ingredients, leaving the soup a bit chunky. Serve immediately or chill in fridge to make for an extra special chilled treat in hot weather.

    Alternatives to recipe: Add a chopped jalapeño, garnish the soup with a couple of slices of avocado, or add some fresh chopped basil or cilantro.

    By Jamie J. Hagen

    Jamie J. Hagen lives in Brooklyn and is a Contributing Editor for Autostraddle and writer for The Line Campaign. Follow her on twitter @jamiejhagen and visit her personal website for more of her work.

    4 replies on “Stupid Simple Gazpacho Recipe”

    I am a vegetarian who has been to spain twice and nearly starved both times! The second time, I went non-authentic and had pizza b/c I couldn’t deal w/the limited food choices. I learned that if you ask for vegetarian food, they will still put pork in it, so I started requesting “sin carne, sin hamon.”

    I’ve never had gazpacho, but I tried your recipe last nght. Mine came out dark pink (too much tomato?). The reactions: 2yo wouldn’t touch it; hubby thought it was “meh”; i thought it was just okay; 6 yo loved it. I’m excited to try variations, like the one below. Thanks for the inspiration!

    Oh gosh, last summer I had my wisdom teeth out and was so sick and tired of mashed potatoes that I invented a gazpacho recipe. My fridge was short on ingredients, and since there was no way I’d be able to haul my Vicodin-popping-self to the store, I nixed the bread and was low on tomatoes, had extra cucumber and ended up throwing V8 in there too. It ended up a weird green-red color, but the best part was that since I was the only one in the house who would even dare to try it, it kept in the fridge for a few days…and tasted AMAZING after the flavors infused together overnight.

    Oh what would my sevillana mama say? She’d say that ain’t no gazpacho!

    Also how could you order gazpacho in a restaurant in Spain and not have it show up with chunks of ham in it, or really anything in a Spanish restaurant without ham in it? When I lived in Seville, the only place you were guaranteed that was the Vegetarium, and I always hoped they’d survived, but they probably didn’t. I rarely ate out for cost concerns but also because there’d be maybe one vegetarian option on a menu. I was well-fed the Mediterranean diet, though, and some of my greatest food memories come from my host mom making paella vegetal for me and so many delicious bean dishes it’s making my mouth water thinking about them. And the smells, they were divine.

    Anyway, traditional gazpacho:
    1 clove of garlic, peeled
    4 medium sized tomatoes, peeled
    1 green banana pepper
    nearly or fully stale bread, soaked in water
    1/2 a cucumber
    salt to taste
    white vinegar to taste
    water

    My host mom said “People put onion and carrot in it, but those are just inventions. My mother has been making it this way before there were blenders available.”

    So just peel that garlic and tomatoes, seed the pepper, make sure the bread is soaked, and grind it all up. If you’re using it, add the cucumber too. Then you add the salt, not a lot, no more than half a teaspoon I’d say. Next comes the white vinegar, then blend again. You don’t need a lot of vinegar, a tablespoon or two will do. Next comes the olive oil, about the same amount as you used for the vinegar. Then you pour that mixture into a larger container. You need to water it down, so fill that larger container to the top with water. You may want to add ice cubes. Then put it in the fridge and let it get nice and cold.

    To serve it, drink it! Don’t put it in a bowl! It’s a lovely refreshing drink that goes perfectly with tortilla. You’ll need to shake up the container though, since all the vegetables and bread will settle at the bottom. A few vigorous shakes make it like nothing ever happened, and the stuff smells divine. The only place I’ve had gazpacho to rival my host mom’s was at a restaurant in DC, owned by a Spaniard of course. I hate to say it but living with my host mama made me a huge gazpacho snob, but I love sharing this recipe. Damn, now I really want some of it for myself.

    Thanks for sharing the recipe! It’s also interesting to hear about your experiences with your host mom in Seville and her thoughts on an authentic version of the dish.

    I learned to make gazpacho from a Spaniard from Madrid and this recipe is a bit from memory. Sometimes I throw in ice as well, as you suggested.

    While in Spain I was able to get gazpacho without ham fairly easily. When we went out to lunch as mentioned in my post I just asked for the soup without the ham or egg to get the vegetarian version.

    It’s great to learn about different versions of a recipe and I look forward to trying yours!

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