Dish of the Week: Gazpacho

From classic comfort foods to regional standouts and desserts, we'll be sharing a new recipe with you each week. See the complete list of recipes at the end of this post.

This week, we're looking at a classic cold soup from southern Spain: gazpacho.

A common dish in Andalusian cuisine during the hot summer months, gazpacho is a refreshing tomato-based soup made of raw vegetables and bread. Though its origins are unclear, the soup has influences from ancient Greece and Rome as well as Moorish and Arab culture: mainly the bright pop of vinegar from the Romans and soaked bread and garlic soup from the Moors.

There are many variations of the dish, but the most popular tends to be with stale bread, tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper, onions, garlic, olive oil, and white wine vinegar. The bread is soaked in water to achieve the right texture and a bit of salt and pepper bring out the flavors.

This recipe, slightly adapted from Saveur, uses rustic, country-style bread, ripe tomatoes, and a hint of sherry vinegar to make a bright gazpacho that is perfect for summer.

Gazpacho Andaluz

1 slice country-style bread (stale), about 1" thick, crusts removed 2 small cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and chopped 2 lbs very ripe tomatoes (check out your local farmer's market), seeded and coarsely chopped 1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped 2 tbsp sherry vinegar 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil Salt + freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Optional garnishes: diced green bell pepper, cucumber; white onion and tomato; croutons or crostini


Place bread in a small bowl, cover with water, and let soak for 30 min.

Squeeze out excess moisture and add to food processor or blender with cucumbers, tomatoes, garlic, vinegar, olive oil, and 1 cup of water. Blend until smooth. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Push puree through a fine sieve to reach a thin consistency. If desired, leave chunky instead.

Chill for at least 2 hours before serving with optional garnishes.

See more Dishes of the Week: Dish of the Week: Coq Au Vin Dish of the Week: Argentine Chimichurri Dish of the Week: Flourless Chocolate Cake Dish of the Week: New England Clam Chowder Dish of the Week: Beef Stroganoff Dish of the Week: Hushpuppies Dish of the Week: Irish Soda Bread Dish of the Week: Pastitsio Dish of the Week: Chicken Tikka Masala Dish of the Week: The Cuban Sandwich Dish of the Week: Chicken and Chorizo Empanadas Dish of the Week: Potato Kugel Dish of the Week: Korean Fried Chicken Dish of the Week: Wiener Schnitzel Dish of the Week: Mexican Chilaquiles Dish of the Week: Falafel Dish of the Week: Fish and Chips Dish of the Week: Jucy Lucy

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Brooke Viggiano is a contributing writer who is always looking to share Houston's coolest and tastiest happenings with the Houston Press readers.
Contact: Brooke Viggiano