Gazpacho Soup: A healthy and unique pot luck or block party contribution

I first heard about gazpacho back in the late 80s, while watching a hysterically funny subtitled movie from Spain entitled Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (ladies, Antonio Banderas is in it!)  ;-).  It tomatoes galoreseems they were always drinking and eating the stuff, and they made it look really delicious. It was not long after then that I found a recipe in Cook’s Illustrated and after trying a few different recipes, decided that was my favorite—with just a little bit of adjusting.

fresh summer vegetables for gazpachoI would make a batch every summer, when my garden was producing loads of tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers. It’s the most refreshing, delicious way to drink your veggies: much healthier than juice because you’re getting little more than a variety of fresh, wholesome raw vegetables (organic, especially if you grow your own) with the fiber included. Every time I’d serve it to friends they would say they’d never heard of it before, but they all loved it. They would then ask for the recipe, which I was always happy to share.

gazpacho in thermos or pitcher

Go low tech at gatherings with gazpacho in a pitcher or thermos and use plastic cups with spoons.

It wasn’t until I lived in a suburban neighborhood with one block party, pot luck or picnic after another that I realized gazpacho would be a great side dish to bring. I mean, really, how many more bowls of potato, macaroni or fruit salad does one need? NO ONE thinks of bringing gazpacho and so far it’s been a huge hit. I usually put it in a Rubbermaid pitcher with a lid, or a soup thermos and throw in some ice cubes to keep it chilled. The soup can just be poured into plastic cups (don’t forget spoons). Nothing can be easier to serve! And you don’t have to worry about it going bad (translation: no mayo) if it’s warm out. Since it’s more of a first course, it usually disappears quickly anyway. There are rarely any leftovers and everyone ends up loving it (even kids) and asking for… surprise!… the recipe. I also get the personal satisfaction of sneaking in something that’s so healthy at gatherings where the norm is hot dogs, chips, carb-loaded salads and too many sweets.

chopped vegetables for gazpacho

A nice dice size and variety for texture.

SO, here’s my recipe. I happen to LOVE cutting up vegetables (it’s my Zen activity) so I do all of mine by hand, but if you’re not as wacky as I am you can use a food processor or even a hand chopper (such as something like this OXO chopper ). The goal is to chop the fresh veggies into small enough pieces so that they can be swallowed easily (without the necessity for chewing) but big enough so that there is a nice texture and some “tooth” to the soup that can be chewed if so inclined. I usually bring along a few cups filled with toppings (my favorite is avocado) so people can dress up their soup to their taste.

Yum! Summer in a cup! Make some gazpacho soon and send your admirers here for the recipe!

Gazpacho (cold vegetable soup)

A fresh, delicious and healthful combination of summer's bounty.
Caution: Will cause cravings!
Prep Time1 hour
Total Time5 hours
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Spanish
Keyword: cold soup, soup
Servings: 3 quarts


  • 1.5 pounds ripe tomatoes diced into 1/8-1/4" cubes
  • 2 medium bell peppers,1 each red & green diced into 1/8-1/4" cubes
  • 2 small cucumbers diced into 1/8-1/4" cubes
  • 1/2 medium sweet red onion diced into 1/8-1/4" cubes
  • 2 medium garlic cloves pressed or minced
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar I prefer Braggs, unfiltered and raw
  • 1/8 cup sherry (cooking wine is fine)
  • to taste ground black pepper
  • 5 cups vegetable juice V8 organic is great
  • 1 tsp hot pepper sauce Sriracha or other types - optional
  • olive oil extra virgin, drizzle when serving


  • Combine tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, onions, garlic, salt, vinegar, sherry and pepper in a large non-reactive bowl. Let stand until vegetables begin to release their juices, about 5 minutes. Stir in the vegetable juice and hot pepper sauce. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours, 1 day preferable.
  • Adjust seasonings and drizzle about 1 tsp olive oil per serving. Serve cold with any combination of toppings: croutons, olives, chopped hardboiled eggs, diced avocados, parsley... or ?? your choice.

14 thoughts on “Gazpacho Soup: A healthy and unique pot luck or block party contribution

  1. Leslie Billings

    I would like to try your sourdough bread recipe could I bake it in a large Pyrex bowl? The same one I love the bread rise in if I greased the bowl first? I could cover the bowl with aluminum foil.
    can you please tell me what is proofed and bubbling sourdough starter?
    also I have a package of historic powdered yeast that dates back to the Oregon Trail it is several years old but kept clean and dry could I use that? Thank you I appreciate the recipe for the sourdough bread. Can you tell me what it’s nutritionist regarding carbohydrates and proteins?

    1. Farmer Deb Post author

      Hi Leslie, I’ve never made the bread in anything but a cast iron casserole, but I suppose the pyrex would work if you grease it. I’m not sure about the aluminum though, the beauty of the cast iron lid is that it seals in the moisture and is a non-reactive surface. Proofed and bubbling sourdough starter has been “woken up” from being dormant in the refrigerator and fed; the natural yeasts eat the flour and produce bubbles (carbon dioxide I think). I don’t you about your powdered yeast, I use the starter instead of yeast. I wouldn’t use it in this recipe, you don’t need it. If you’re going to use it for another type of bread, I would think soon after you add warm water and sweetener to the yeast you’ll know whether it’s active or not by the way it reacts (or doesn’t react). As far as nutritional values, my *guess* is this: according to the flour package, 1/4 c. = 20 g. carbs and 4 g. protein. If you’re using 6-1/2 cups of flour (6 cups + starter), 520 g. carbs (roughly) and 104 g. protein per loaf. Per slice nutrition depends on how thick/big your slices are. If you wanted to get really scientific, you could weigh the loaf of bread, get a per/ounce measurement and then weigh the slices individually. My son is a type 1 diabetic so I used to do a lot of this when he was little. Hope that helps!

  2. Leslie Billings

    hi Deb I appreciate your speedy reply so I’m guessing the starter is something you buy in a natural food store and add water to? Sorry to sound so stupid but I have zero knowledge. Thank you

    1. Farmer Deb Post author

      Hi Leslie, I’ve not seen the starter in the stores but then I’ve never looked for it either. If they did, they would have it in dehydrated form. Maybe ask at WholeFoods or Natural Grocers or any other natural food stores you may have in your area. Or you can order some from Cultures for Health (sometimes they have sales) or search the Internet for other suppliers. Or Amazon! Or you can try to make your own, just search on Google. King Arthur Flour’s web site has a couple of recipes.

  3. Sharon mendoza

    Good morning. Just found your Einhorn No knead bread recipe via Mother Earth newsletter. Really excited to make a loaf of bread but need to know your recipe for “starter”. My daughter found 100% Organic Sunflower Millet flour from Great River. Do you know about this flour or have you used it?
    I really want to try baking this in my cob oven but need to try first in my conventional oven first. Thank you. Love your website!

    1. Farmer Deb Post author

      Hi Sharon, good morning! I don’t know about the sunflower millet flour, have never used any of the wheat-alternative flours myself. I do have a friend that tried my sourdough recipe with turkey red wheat (another heritage grain) flour that she ground herself, but the flour was course and made the loaf very dense. You could try it, I imagine it would still taste good. Glad you like my site, thanks!

  4. Deb

    I love that you are using ancient wheat & getting great results with your sourdough bread – I can’t wait to try your recipe! There are several sourdough starters on the website you recommended. I’d like to avoid using a modern wheat…which starter did you work with?

    1. Farmer Deb Post author

      I bought the San Francisco sourdough starter, because I know and love SFO sourdough bread. I’ve had the starter for more than a year and just love it!


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