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3 Easy Summer Gazpacho Recipes to Keep You Cool

It may be hot out, but your dinner doesn't have to be

spinner image Summer cold soup gazpacho with parsley and vegetables on blue concrete background
Andrey Zhuravlev/Getty Images

​Sweltering weather calls for something easy in the kitchen that doesn’t require heat to prepare. Gazpacho is served chilled, making this cold soup a perfect summer meal. ​ ​

The typically tomato-based soup, made of raw, blended vegetables, originated in a southern region of Spain called Andalusia. That traditional version is stripped down compared to many of those found in the U.S., which might have enhancements that range from watermelon to lobster. ​ ​

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Though there’s a reason simple versions of centuries-old dishes have stood the test of time, elevating a basic gazpacho takes only a few quality ingredients, according to Lara Dunston, a Southeast Asia-based travel and food writer who cowrites the blog Grantourismo.​ ​

At the heart of the soup are the tomatoes. They should be sweet, plump, ripe and red, she says. ​ ​

If you can’t find tomatoes at their peak, sprinkle a good-quality sea salt and freshly ground pepper on canned tomatoes because it “brings out the flavors and natural sweetness like magic,” Dunston says. “If you’re on a low- or no-sodium diet, sprinkle in some chili flakes.” ​ ​

A top-quality Spanish, Italian or Portuguese extra virgin olive oil drizzled on top of the soup before serving “is also going to take your gazpacho to a whole other level,” she says. ​ ​

Experiment with these three recipes from foodies who’ve upped the ante on an age-old soup.​ ​

spinner image a bowl of red pepper almond gazpacho soup shown from above with almonds next to it on the table
John Eisensmith

Red Pepper Almond Gazpacho​ ​

Courtesy of John Eisensmith, chef, instructor and owner of Season to Taste, a culinary school in Durham, North Carolina.​ ​

Note from the chef: “Around the world, there are a couple thousand people making gazpacho right now, and everyone is making it just a little bit differently. It’s just a combination of flavors that can be put together in different forms to make endless varieties. … It’s simply a puréed mixture of tasty vegetables or produce, balanced by a little bit of acidity and sweetness.”​ ​

Serves 2 to 4​ ​

Ingredients​ ​

  • 1 tomato, medium to large size​
  • 4 red peppers, seeded​
  • ½ cup red onion, rough cut ​
  • 1-2 cloves garlic​
  • 1 cup almonds, whole​
  • 8 ounces tomato juice (optional)​
  • 1-2 tablespoons red wine vinegar (or more to taste)​
  • 2-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, more for garnish​
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika​
  • salt to taste​
  • black pepper to taste​ ​

Directions​ ​

Toast almonds on a cookie sheet in a 350º oven for about 7-9 minutes or until they begin to brown slightly. Cool to room temperature before using. Pulse garlic in a food processor to mince finely. Add cooled almonds and paprika and pulse until a smooth paste begins to form. Add the rest of the vegetables and pulse to desired texture. ​ ​

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Add in the tomato juice, some of the vinegar, and some salt and pepper. Turn on the processor and drizzle in extra virgin olive oil while it is running to emulsify and add body. Taste and adjust acidity, salt and pepper. ​ ​

Chill to combine flavors or serve immediately. Garnish with extra virgin olive oil or just about anything you can think of (cheese, herbs, shrimp, crab, etc.).​ ​

spinner image overhead view of a bowl of roasted garlic gazpacho cold soup with a spoon in it
Jenn Segal

Roasted Garlic Gazpacho​ ​

Courtesy of Jenn Segal, a professionally trained chef, founder of the blog Once Upon a Chef and author of Once Upon a Chef: 100 Tested, Perfected, and Family-Approved Recipes.​ ​

Note from the chef: “I love gazpacho because it’s loaded with summer produce — tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers. And because it’s served cold, it’s a wonderfully refreshing option during the hot summer months. Instead of raw onions, this gazpacho is made with mellow, sweet roasted garlic. I suggest pairing it with crusty bread.”​ ​

Serves 6 to 8​ ​

Ingredients​ ​

  • 8 garlic cloves, unpeeled​
  • 4 large vine-ripened tomatoes, cored and cut into 1-inch chunks​
  • 2 red bell peppers, cored, seeded and cut into 1-inch chunks​
  • 1 English or hothouse cucumber, halved, seeded and cut into 1-inch chunks (do not peel)​
  • 5 cups tomato juice (not low sodium)​
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, best quality ​
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar, best quality ​
  • 1½ teaspoons salt​
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper​
  • ½ teaspoon Tabasco (optional)​ ​
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Directions​ ​

Place unpeeled garlic cloves in a small skillet over medium heat; cook, turning occasionally, until soft and blackened in spots, about 10 to 15 minutes. Cool, then remove skins (they should slip right off) and scrape off any char.​ ​

Add the peeled roasted garlic to the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade; pulse, scraping down sides as necessary, until garlic is finely puréed. Add tomatoes and pulse until coarsely chopped. Do not overmix; the soup should be slightly chunky. ​ ​

Transfer the tomato mixture to an extra-large bowl. Add the red bell peppers and cucumbers to the food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped; add to the bowl with the tomato mixture. Stir in the tomato juice, olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt, pepper and Tabasco. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill until ready to serve. The longer it sits, the better it tastes. Serve cold.​ ​

spinner image Watermelon Gazpacho made with watermelon, yellow peppers, cucumber, and garnished with a sprig of fresh thyme
StephanieFrey/Getty Images

​​Watermelon Gazpacho​ ​

Courtesy of Omar Allibhoy, a Spanish celebrity chef, owner of the Spanish restaurant chain Tapas Revolution, and author of two cookbooks. This recipe is from Spanish Made Simple: 100 Foolproof Spanish Recipes for Every Day.​ ​

Note from the chef: “Our body asks for chilled soups in summer and there are not that many choices if you think about it. Gazpacho is a blended salad — full of goodness, healthy, refreshing and delicious. In this recipe I have added some refreshing watermelon. The juiciness of this fruit and the touch of sweetness makes it extra special. [To switch things up a bit] I love adding some cherries, raspberries or even strawberries to my gazpacho. It is so versatile."​ ​

Serves 4​ ​

Ingredients​ ​

  • 1 pound watermelon, peeled and chopped​
  • 5 tomatoes, chopped​
  • 1 red (bell) pepper, chopped​
  • ¼ cucumber, chopped​
  • ¼ onion, chopped​
  • ½ garlic clove, chopped​
  • 1 slice of bread, chopped​
  • 1 teaspoon salt​
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin​
  • 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar​
  • 7 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil​ ​

Directions​ ​

Place all the ingredients except olive oil in a blender and liquidize until smooth. After two minutes, when the gazpacho is very smooth, pour in the olive oil on a thin strand so it emulsifies for the last 30 seconds. Check the seasoning and adjust if necessary. Serve over ice.​ ​

Note: If you want to serve this as a starter and make it a bit more filling, serve it in a soup bowl with croutons and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.​

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