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Cold tomato gazpacho recipe

There are a few things I keep in mind when making gazpacho:

  • Gazpacho has a lot of history, perhaps as far back as ancient Greece and Rome. For those of you that are keen on history, you’ll recall that tomatoes and hot peppers are new world vegetables, which means the original recipes were something quite different than the familiar cold, spicy tomato soup. Historically, Spanish gazpacho was an emulsion of olive oil with other ingredients such as bread, almonds and vegetables. Emulsification is the critical point of Gazpacho, not tomatoes, not spiciness and certainly not sleeping pills (via Almodóvar). It wouldn’t surprise me if Christopher Columbus himself discovered that using tomatoes and hot peppers from the new world tastes great. But, he was probably stuck emulsifying everything with mortar and pestle. The critical point you should keep in mind is to use a good blender to emulsify your vegetables with some very high quality olive oil
  • Many recipes suggest removing the tomato skins, seeds and pulp. I recommend keeping the skins and pulp which are high in pectin. I agree to leave out the tomato seeds, but suggest separating out the seeds from pulp by using a mesh strainer and rubber spatula. This technique adds an almost gelato like texture to the soup
  • Rather than using hot peppers, I prefer using a sweet red pepper along with some Tabasco sauce, which adds a richer flavor
  • Many recipes include the addition of tomato juice. I think adding cooked tomato flavor completely defeats the purpose. Instead, I add crushed ice

2 pounds of fresh tomatoes
1 small, sweet red bell pepper, seeded and roughly chopped
1/2 of a large cucumber, seeded and roughly chopped
2 ribs of celery, roughly chopped
1 clove of garlic
6 basil leaves
Juice of 1 lemon
1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil
Tabasco sauce, as much as you like
1/2 cup of crushed ice

First, cut the tomatoes in half and squeeze the pulp into a mesh strainer over a bowl. Use a rubber spatula to press the juice through, separating out the seeds which can be discarded. Put the juice into the blender. Roughly chop the tomatoes and add to the blender, along with the bell pepper, cucumber, celery, garlic, basil, lemon juice, olive oil, Tabasco, ice, salt and pepper. Puree everything together until it is smooth and emulsified.

Serve immediately with a couple of ice cubes, or chill in the fridge for a day or two.

Serves 4.


leftRepression is the fickle mother of sloppy rebellion. A strong, brave few continue to use heavy cream, butter, rendered fat, salt, sugar, and whole milk. Thank you for joining the Eat Dangerously revolution.