Gazpacho offers the same refreshment, ease of preparation and melange of flavors that salad does—but in a soup.
It is, hands down, my favorite way to start a warm-weather meal, particularly if I’m hosting an al fresco dinner party. The beauty of gazpacho is that no heat is required. Just chop, puree and serve—easy-peasy. Start with Basic Gazpacho
, and then move on to the variations, all based on different fruits (or cooling cucumber). Pick a recipe based on what else you’re serving—or better, whatever is ripest at the store that week. Mangos can be good in spring and early summer, while the rest of the fruits come in later.
And if you’re saying savory fruit soups are crazy? Remember that a tomato is technically a fruit too, so it’s not such a stretch after all!
If you’re looking for a little Spanish flare, a basic Gazpacho
is right up your alley. A delicious combination of Muir Glen® tomatoes, cucumber and bell pepper, this summer soup will fill you up without weighing you down. It’s also a great base for some other variations that are perfect for hot summer nights. See below for some suggestions on different ways to dress this baby up.
Tropical Mango Gazpacho
The bright, tangy flavors in this go well with Caribbean and Latin American flavors. Start with the Basic Gazpacho recipe
, but replace the tomatoes with 2 cups fresh mangoes (pitted, peeled and chopped). Then swap out the tomato juice for 2 cups pineapple juice. To serve, top diced avocado—one whole avocado will be enough to garnish the four bowls.
Fresh Peach Gazpacho
Combine the best produce of midsummer for this: peaches and sweet corn, plus refreshing mint and a little spicy kick—how hot you want it is up to you. Make the Basic Gazpacho
, replacing the tomatoes with 4 pounds dead-ripe peaches—peel them and chop them. Add the shucked kernels from 1 ear of fresh white or yellow corn (or use ½ cup frozen corn kernels, defrosted), as well as 1 green jalapeño (more or less), seeded and diced finely. Finally, replace the parsley and cilantro with 1 handful fresh mint leaves, chopped.
Creamy Cucumber-Mint Gazpacho
The classic combo of yogurt, cucumber and mint makes an elegant cold soup, and a great starter before grilled meat or a selection of other Mediterranean snacks. Make Basic Gazpacho
with the following substitutions: Replace the tomatoes with 2 pounds of English cucumbers, peeled and cut into 3-inch chunks. Add 1 jalapeño (more or less), chopped. Replace the parsley and cilantro with 1 handful fresh mint leaves, and replace the lime juice with lemon. Add 1 cup plain yogurt (nonfat, lowfat or full-fat). To serve, garnish with halved cherry tomatoes (1 cup or so will do) and a few more shredded mint leaves.
A great way to use up the rest of that giant watermelon that always lurks in the back of the fridge. And it’s also the easiest adaptation of the original recipe: Just make Basic Gazpacho
, but replace the tomatoes with 4 cups seedless watermelon chunks. The savory result is surprising—you’ll never look at watermelon the same way again!