Cooking Cove: Gazpacho is mucho refreshing

Cooking Cove: Gazpacho is mucho refreshing

Red Gazpacho

By Barbara Beltrami

As much as hot soup is a tummy warmer in cold weather, cold soup can be a real refresher in warm weather. Most cold soups are really just pureed veggies or fruits … gazpacho, borscht and vichyssoise, all coolers from different European cuisines, immediately come to mind. Surely the most popular is gazpacho. Think it’s just a puree of tomatoes, bread and other fresh veggies? Think again. That’s red gazpacho. But there’s also white gazpacho called “ajo bianco” made with cucumbers, almonds and green grapes. Or green gazpacho made with cucumber, tomatillo, arugula, avocado, scallions, cilantro and parsley.

Take your pick and don’t feel that you have to follow the ingredients list religiously. Throw in whatever you have as long as it doesn’t radically change the flavor or color. And adding fruits just makes it even better. Think watermelon for the red gazpacho, peeled apple or pear for the white, honeydew for the green. Just think of them as smoothies served in a bowl.

Classic Red Gazpacho

Red Gazpacho

YIELD: Makes 4 to 6 servings.


3 cups fresh cored and chopped tomatoes

1½ cups peeled, chopped cucumber

1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped

1 clove garlic, sliced

½ cup water

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

1/3 cup red wine vinegar

2 slices bread, cubed

¼ cup chopped cilantro

Salt and black pepper, to taste

1 cup or more canned tomato juice

6 scallions, sliced

DIRECTIONS: In an electric blender or food processor, combine all the ingredients except the scallions. Puree until smooth. Pour into a sieve and place over a bowl; press and stir to extract as much juice as possible; discard solids. Adjust seasonings if necessary by adding more salt and/or vinegar. If the mixture is too thick, add more tomato juice. Chill before serving; garnish with sliced scallions. Serve with taco chips, crusty bread with extra virgin olive oil, Spanish olives or manchego cheese or crudités.

White Gazpacho

White Gazpacho

YIELD: Makes 6 servings.


1 cup seedless green grapes, washed and coarsely chopped

1 apple or ripe pear, pared and cored, cut into chunks

1 cup peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped cucumber

2 medium garlic cloves, peeled and sliced

3 cups stale bread, coarsely chopped

½ cup milk

Coarse salt to taste

1 cup lightly toasted sliced almonds

¾ cup extra virgin olive oil

3 to 4 tablespoons white wine vinegar

Finely ground white pepper, to taste

More vinegar, if desired

DIRECTIONS: In a medium bowl combine grapes, apple or pear, cucumber, garlic, bread, milk, 2 cups of water, and salt. Cover and refrigerate for 6 to 12 hours. Transfer to a blender or food processor, add half the almonds, half a cup of the oil, the vinegar and salt and pepper. Blend until thick; add more water, a tablespoonful at a time, if too thick. Stir and press puree through a fine sieve into a large bowl; season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.

Pour mixture into individual bowls, drizzle with remaining quarter cup of oil, a little more vinegar if desired, and sprinkle with remaining half cup almonds. Serve chilled with chips, crackers or garlic bread.

Green Gazpacho

Green Gazpacho


YIELD: Makes 6 servings.


¼ cup wine vinegar (preferably white)

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

One 8-ounce container plain Greek yogurt

¾ cup extra virgin olive oil

2½ to 3 cups Italian or French bread, crusts removed

1 large cucumber, peeled, seed and cut into chunks

1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped

4 large tomatillos, husked and coarsely chopped

1 handful arugula leaves

1 handful cilantro leaves

1 handful parsley leaves

Flesh of one avocado

4 scallions, sliced

2 jalapenos, seeded and chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely minced

Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS: In a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, lime juice, yogurt and half a cup of the oil. Add remaining ingredients and toss thoroughly to be sure vegetables and bread are coated with liquid mixture. Cover and refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours. Puree chilled mixture, a little at a time. Combine all pureed batches and mix thoroughly; add water, a little at a time, if too thick. Ladle into 6 individual bowls and drizzle with remaining quarter cup olive oil. Serve with chips and salsa, tacos, cheese and crackers or bread dipped in olive oil.