Today I share with you my Spanish family's authentic gazpacho recipe. Traditional Spanish gazpacho is easy to make, super healthy, bursting with flavor, and absolutely delicious! It's usually served as an appetizer in a small bowl with toppings, or from a glass as a drink. Either way, it really hits the spot on a hot day!
My traditional gazpacho recipe comes straight from Andalusia and it is truly the best gazpacho recipe out there for the classic version. I hope you enjoy it!
So what is the classic version anyway? And what's the big deal about gazpacho?
Well -- for reference, I hated gazpacho the first time I tried it.
I had just moved to Spain to study abroad and was having lunch with my host family in Granada when my host mom, Josefina, plopped down a big glass of orange gazpacho.
Josefina, in spite of her claims to have once owned a restaurant, was not known among the study abroad students for her skills in the kitchen. In fact, her gazpacho was one of the first things she had made completely from scratch since we had been there!
I took a sip of the lukewarm concoction and tried my best to like it-- but I just couldn't. Bland and boring, it was like warm, runny tomato juice served in a glass.
Fast-forward five years...
Yes, it took me nearly five years to return to Spain and try Spanish gazpacho again. But I'm so happy I did.
As someone who had become obsessed with gazpacho's creamy cousin salmorejo, I decided it was about time to give traditional gazpacho another chance. After all, my Spanish friends would swear by the stuff-- according to any Spaniard, gazpacho is the best cure for a cold, flu, hangover, break-up... whatever is wrong, gazpacho will fix it!
Searching for the best gazpacho recipe
I decided to investigate, and proceeded to read at least 20 different Spanish gazpacho recipes from my cookbook collection and favorite Spanish recipe sites.
I blended a few different versions together to come up with what may be the best traditional Spanish gazpacho recipe ever.
What is key about this version of gazpacho is its potential to be eaten from a bowl (versus sipped from a glass) with lots of delicious toppings. This makes it more like a traditional cold soup and less like a vegetable juice. I love it both ways (just for the record!).
Key Ingredients: Tomatoes, pepper, cucumber, onion, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, salt, optional toppings.
Optional Gazpacho Toppings
As I explained, the most traditional way to eat gazpacho in Spain is by drinking it from a glass. But I love eating it from a bowl with toppings.
My favorite topping by far is Granny Smith apple. It sounds strange, but the tart apple really compliments the gazpacho.
A full list of ideas for gazpacho toppings:
- Marinated cherry tomatoes
- Tart cherries
- Diced nectarine
- Red onion and cilantro
- Raw red bell pepper
- Raw onions
- Hard boiled eggs
Ingredient Notes & Substitutions
The thing about gazpacho is that it is pretty versatile. Many people omit the cucumber (I personally love it). Sometimes I use red bell pepper instead of the more traditional green pepper. My mother-in-law often thickens her gazpacho with a chunk of stale bread or even carrot. Some people use more or less olive oil, as little as a few tablespoons, and others add more chilled water at the end to make the texture lighter and more watery.
It's up to you! Start experimenting and find what you like best. And keep reading for my other more modern gazpacho recipes (like green gazpacho and watermelon gazpacho!).
Authentic Gazpacho Recipe: The Best Spanish Gazpacho Step by Step
Making gazpacho is easy! You'll need a decent blender, and for a really smooth version, you'll want to use a fine strainer (here in Spain most people have a chinois strainer). Here are the step-by-step instructions, but keep scrolling down for the printable recipe card with exact measurements.
Steps 1-4: Start by roughly chopping the vegetables to add to the blender. Depending on how powerful your blender is, you may need to chop smaller.
Steps 5-8: Now, add all of the vegetables to the blender. We'll blend these first -- then add the liquids and seasoning! Tip: Always put the most liquidy veggies (the tomatoes here) on the bottom of the blender.
Step 9: Blend away!
Steps 10-13: Now we season the gazpacho -- add some salt and vinegar first. Then, while the blender is running, slowly incorporate the olive oil so that it blends right in. Finally, check the taste and texture and add some ice-cold water if you want.
Step 14: Your gazpacho is ready to serve! You can enjoy it by the glass, or serve it in a bowl with toppings on the side. Don't forget a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle of sea salt right before eating!
- For a very cold gazpacho, refrigerate for a few hours before serving. You can also add ice instead of the water if you prefer a quick fix!
- If you want your gazpacho to be completely smooth, make sure to strain it through a fine mesh strainer or chinois strainer.
- Don't worry if the gazpacho separates when in the fridge. This is normal and you just need to give it a good stir or shake before serving.
Recipe Tips & FAQs
Gazpacho is a very healthy food, and here in Spain people will drink gazpacho when feeling sick or hungover. It's a puree of lots of raw vegetables, so is packed with vitamins and minerals. It's very hydrating, and when made with extra virgin olive oil it also has healthy monounsaturated fats and antioxidants.
It's believed that gazpacho originates in the south of Spain, where temperatures in summer can go up to 48°C (118°F). A cold soup is necessary to stay hydrated and refreshed during such hot weather. That said, before refrigeration gazpacho would have been served at room temperature (but never warm/cooked).
Gazpacho can be enjoyed any time of day! Many people start their day with a glass of cold gazpacho (especially when feeling under the weather). More typically, you'll start your lunch or dinner with gazpacho -- served either from a glass or in a small bowl with toppings.
Gazpacho will last 4-5 days when stored in the fridge in an airtight container.
You can freeze gazpacho, though the defrosted gazpacho will always be slightly different than the fresh version in both taste and appearance.
Gazpacho is a must any time of year but is especially refreshing in the summer! It's the perfect starter for a paella feast, or in great company as part of a tapas spread. It's something you can eat (or drink) any time of day -- I always have a big pitcher in the fridge!
More Gazpacho Recipes
Over the years I've done a lot of experimenting! Try these twists on the classic gazpacho for something different.
- Melon Gazpacho
- Cherry Gazpacho
- Roasted Vegetable Gazpacho
- Green Gazpacho
- Watermelon Gazpacho
- White Gazpacho
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Authentic Gazpacho Recipe
- 6-7 medium tomatoes the quality of the tomatoes is one of the most important factors in the taste, use vine-ripened when possible, and don’t use the green salad tomatoes!
- 1 green Italian pepper the long type, not a bell pepper
- 1 cucumber
- ½ of a small white onion
- 1 clove of garlic not too big
- ¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil (60 ml) again, quality is important
- A splash of Sherry vinegar Vinagre de Jerez, although red or white wine vinegar can be substituted
- A pinch or two of salt
- Optional toppings For ex: diced green apple, diced onion, diced pepper, croutons, & hard-boiled eggs
- Wash and dry all of the vegetables very well—if you prefer to peel the tomatoes you can, although I usually leave the skin on.
- Cut the tomatoes into 4 slices (leaving the core behind) and put into your blender.
- Halve, core, and de-seed the pepper. Cut it into a few slices and add to the blender.
- Peel the garlic and slice it in half. Remove the core (which often results in bitterness when not cooked).
- Cut the onion into a few slices and add it to the blender too.
- Peel the cucumber and cut it in half. Add half to the blender and save the other half for a topping.
- Blend the vegetables at a high speed until it is completely pureed.
- Add the salt and vinegar and, while blending on a slow speed, slowly add the olive oil.
- Taste and adjust salt and vinegar. If the texture is too thick for your liking add some cold water.
- Refrigerate and serve VERY cold! Add as many (or as few) toppings as you like.
- For a very cold gazpacho, refrigerate for a few hours before serving. You can also add ice instead of water if you prefer a quick fix!
- If you want your gazpacho to be completely smooth, make sure to strain it through a fine-mesh strainer or chinois strainer.
- Don't worry if the gazpacho separates when in the fridge. This is normal and you get need to give it a good stir or shake before serving.
- Marinated cherry tomatoes
- Tart cherries
- Diced nectarine
- Red onion and cilantro
- Raw red bell pepper
- Raw onions
- Hard-boiled eggs
Update Notice: This post was originally published on May 10, 2012 and was republished with new text and photos on July 9, 2021.
It is really that simple-- a 15-minute power meal! Fresh vegetables mix together to create a delicious and refreshing cold soup with this traditional Spanish gazpacho recipe.
Gazpacho is now my favorite light dinner on a hot summer night, and leftovers make a great start to the next day!
Does anyone else have their own Spanish gazpacho story-- food that you didn't like at first taste but that you now couldn't live without? Please share it below!
Photography by Giulia Verdinelli
I just made this. It’s in the fridge. I only had two tomatoes so I used more red peppers and cucumbers, no salt and extra garlic. I’ve tasted and adjusted some cilantro and parsley I added, I hope you don’t mind. What a wonderful recipe. Thank you.
This looks good. I’ve also made gazpacho with some spicy tomato juice in addition to the other ingredients. I use lemon juice rather than the sherry vinegar. It’s likely that gazpacho, like so many dishes, has as many versions as cooks!
This is so refreshing, perfect for a bbq!
I can almost taste all the good vitamins and minerals when I drink it!
Need to try the green one next 🙂
How long will this keep for?
3-4 days in the fridge
Your recipe was delicious. Mine didn't come out as red... Why is that?
It really depends on the tomatoes! Also adding more olive oil makes it more orange than red.
I live in White Rock, BC. Canada. Where can I buy Spanish gazpacho soup. Say, 6 Liters? Ferrer brand is nice.
Since gazpacho is basically fresh vegetable juice, I wouldn't buy it pre-packaged, which means it will have been pasteurized and likely lose most flavor and vitamins.
Oh yes and the 5 stars. Here.
Thanks. I tried gazpacho a couple of times in Spain, and my experience was great. I actually like the lightness of it, but salmorejo sounds like an interesting thing to try. One question, why do you deseed peppers? I find the seeds give lots of flavour, and their being seeds should make them nutritious too.
They are often very bitter in the peppers we get here - and could also make the texture to fibrous.
The recipe is so much. I made 2 litres of soup which is way more than what I needed. It was very good and would recommend to try it.
Was introduced to this wonderful dish earlier this year in Madrid and loved it.
Cold soup, it was new to me.
But I am hooked and when my neighbor gave me homegrown tomatoes last night with the mentioning they had to be eaten asap, I remembered your recipe.
And while I could not get the sherry vinegar, I replaced it with sherry wine and a bit of Balsamic vinegar.
It was just as I remembered, thnak you
Better late than never.... An excellent recipe. How could it not be, being so simple.
My first batch was rather thick - I'd rather not strain out elements of the ingredients just to make it smoother/thinner - so added another 1/2 litre-worth of tomatoes when there was room in the jar. This worked well. As the blender was on the go, I added some big leaves of basil. Tomato and basil are soul-mates.
I went on to make another batch, again with basil and a mere splash of fino sherry.
With a couple of ice cubes and some garlic crountons, a big glass of this is a marvellous midday 'starter'.
This recipe is wonderful. I’ve made your gazpacho twice for some friends and they all LOVED it. It ended up looking more like barf than the beautiful red-orange in your picture, but it still tasted extremely good. And I love your idea of garnishing it with non-chopped cucumber and granny smith apple; they’re a really nice sweet compliment to the savory soup.
Thanks for commenting Trevor! If you want it to be even smoother, strain it before serving. Ahh, now I'm craving Gazpacho and it's midnight! Tomorrow...
Ok, trying my hand at gazpacho one year later, and, after coring the tomatoes AND straining the whole soup through a fine sieve, I am happy to report that it no longer looks like barf! Very smooth and a lovely pale orange—just like the picture! Thanks for the tip to strain…that was the trick!
Yes, unless the tomatoes are already watery and you blend for a long time, straining is usually necessary! Glad it worked this time!
I used to eat gazpacho at a local restaurant in Austin TX .... I believe their recipe was similar to this, however, they topped the soup with fresh lump crab and avocado. It was the best gazpacho I have ever eaten!
That sounds incredible! They would be the perfect toppings. I actually made this last night and threw in a white peach and chunk of watermelon to cut some of the acidity I found in it (probably from using week old tomatoes!) It was delicious!
Made some this afternoon and it was delicious! Thanks for the recipe!!
Awesome! Did you use the apple? I swear by it!
Perfect timing for this recipe...it's heating up down here!! Your version sounds amazing!
I need to try my hand at gazpacho again, it's just hard to get motivated since I prefer salmorejo!
I also prefer salmorejo but sometimes gazpacho is great to change it up a bit!
I've been thinking, I should make gazpacho again...I was thinking it would be good if your sick and then I read what Andaluz's swear by. Looks delicious!
made my first during feria....sooooo good!!
Thanks Lauren - sounds so easy! I was always under the impression that Gazpacho had pan rallado in it, but this makes it even healthier. Thanks for posting this!
Salmorejo has stale bread as a main ingredient and I'm sure some people add a little bit to their gazpacho, but it isn't necessary!
Gazpacho is a great Summer dish and your recipe here sounds delicious!