Marks Daily Apple
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13 Jun

Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho with Hardboiled Eggs and Avocado

With summer basically here, I thought a nice gazpacho recipe was in order.

Gazpacho is the chilled, tomato-based raw soup that originated in Andalusia, Spain, possibly after the Moorish incursion brought a simple peasant’s soup of olive oil, water, garlic, and stale bread to the region. Fortunately, those peasants soon grew tired of their meager gruel and began incorporating fresh vegetables from the fields to liven up the dish. Onions, cucumbers, and various herbs were standard fare until Columbus brought back tomatoes and peppers from the New World. Today, gazpacho is best known as a cold tomato soup, but good gazpacho is much, much more than throwing a can of Campbell’s in the fridge. Truly excellent gazpacho must be fresh and feature a wide range of interplaying flavors. Consistency ranges from truly smooth and soupy to thick and chunky (almost like a salsa), but fresh vegetables and quality ingredients are always key.

I’ve never made gazpacho before, but I have had some excellent ones. What I can remember is that each was different (but similar). Each was obviously based on fresh tomatoes, garlic, onions, peppers, and herbs, but the proportions were different enough to give a different experience in each bowl. Some even incorporated watermelon or grapes. Some were spicy, some were sweet. I figured as long as I had good ingredients and fresh vegetables, anything would work – or at least be edible.

First and foremost, I needed quality tomatoes. These were going to be the foundation of the soup, and they had to be good. I headed down to the farmers’ market for some bulbous, dark red heirloom tomatoes. Three large ones did the trick. I also picked up some parsley, Persian cucumbers (seedless), fresh oregano, green bell pepper, red onion, and cilantro. Garlic, olive oil, hot sauce, balsamic vinegar, and lemon I already had.

This was a quick bang-up job. It was almost criminal how easy it was to make. I simply chopped up everything and tossed it in the food processor, all of it at once. After a minute of whirring I started adding a bit of sea salt, pepper, vinegar, and hot sauce to taste. I was worried I might have to add some commercial tomato juice or a broth to make it soupier, but I never had to. The juice from the vegetables themselves was plenty. To finish it off, I added two hard-boiled eggs to give it some body.

Still, something was a little off. It wasn’t chunky, but it wasn’t smooth either. I like my gazpacho a little more smooth, so I poured the mix into my blender and finished it off there. That did it. I was done, and my gazpacho creation had far exceeded my expectations.

So what were the exact measurements? For one, I didn’t measure exactly and, for two, it’s more fun to come up with your own. There’s a lot of leeway when you’re dealing with fresh vegetables and herbs, so don’t stress too much over the amounts. I’ll give you approximates, though:

2 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes (pick extra juicy ones)
1 cup chopped bell pepper
1 cup chopped seedless cucumber
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh oregano
4 tablespoons cilantro
5 cloves garlic
1/2 large red onion
2 hard boiled eggs
Juice from half a lemon
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
Balsamic vinegar to taste
Hot sauce to taste

Just throw it all in a food processor or a blender (or even a big mortar and pestle, like how they used to do it) and blend. Add the olive oil, salt, pepper, vinegar, and hot sauce as it’s blending, making sure to stop it every once in awhile to taste. Once you’re done, let it chill for a few hours before serving. If you wait a few days, the flavors deepen and your gazpacho can even improve. I like it fresh myself, but most people prefer it after a few days in the fridge. Your choice. I like my gazpacho either solo or with a few slices of avocado and some seared scallops. Again, your choice.

I’d love to hear about any other gazpacho recipes from you guys. Is there anything I left out in mine? Let me know!

You want comments? We got comments:

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  1. Gazpacho really is the perfect summertime meal along with a side of cold watermelon! That & homemade pesto are just the two healthiest recipes I can think of. I will say I’ve never tried the hard boiled eggs with it. I usually add celery & Worcestershire to mine. To change it up sometimes I’ll put in roasted bell peppers and roasted garlic. I’ll also make half of it like you Mark, but then keep the other half nice & chunky and combine it.

    Cody wrote on June 13th, 2009
  2. Basil. You gotta have basil!

    gaucoin wrote on June 13th, 2009
    • Doh! How did I miss that one?? Yup, you definitely need basil!

      Cody wrote on June 13th, 2009
    • They use a lot of oregano in Andalucia! It is really superior when u finish it off with some nice Sherry! Ole

      Marijke wrote on April 28th, 2013
  3. Sounds wonderful. I’ll have to try it when I get some good tomatoes.

    GeriMorgan wrote on June 13th, 2009
  4. I love Basil on my “Faulty Towers.”

    pjnoir wrote on June 13th, 2009
  5. sounds go good.. i’ll be making this tomorrow. thanks mark!

    Hart wrote on June 13th, 2009
  6. I am from Spain, Valencia. Great Gazpacho Mark , interesting your version of adding herbs and balsamic vinagar! The ones we make here doesnt have them, but I like to try it ,as is food that we eat in the summer on daily basis, it is fun to have different recipes.

    thania1 wrote on June 13th, 2009
  7. I can’t say I’ve ever had an “excellent gazpacho.” I’ve been able to finish even a modest bowl. The peasants that invented it couldn’t afford heat? Fire? I don’t get it, I guess. It just seems like something you wouldn’t eat on purpose unless you were starving and couldn’t start a fire.

    Anyway, I’ll give this version a try. I’d enjoy being shocked to find out this is yummy. We’ll see.

    Allen wrote on June 14th, 2009
  8. Edit to above: “I’ve been able to finish even a modest bowl” should read “I’ve NEVER been able to finish even a modest bowl.”

    Thanks.

    Allen wrote on June 14th, 2009
  9. Going to try this Mark, sounds like it would be most excellent with a nice piece of steak and a frosty Sam Adams!

    George wrote on June 14th, 2009
  10. Hi Mark,
    Nice article. I am from Andalucia and your post is exact on every word.

    A couple of notes:
    – Thicker gazpacho is called “Salmorejo” and it is usually taken as a main dish (Gazpacho is an appetizer). Salmorejo is most typical in Cordoba, a province within Andalucia and the old capital of the Muslim empire.

    – The most basic Gazpacho recipe you can find here is made of: fresh tomato, EVOO, bread, green pepper, vinegar (usually a lot of it) and a pinch of salt. Then, it is very common to have a side dish of chopped peppers, onions, bread, cucumbers and tomato, so that every person can “customize” this basic gazpacho.

    Luis wrote on June 14th, 2009
    • Great recipe Mark – I’m going to try it this week. I’ll have to try and find some quality tomatoes from the supermarket as I have no access to local produce (although I am researching local organic veg box deliveries).

      Would it be sacriligeous to add maybe a bit of roasted squash or avacado?

      There was an earlier comment about why no heating? Well, having spent many weeks in Spain in 40+ oC heat, the last thing I’d have wanted was a boiling hot broth!

      Geordie Mullet wrote on June 14th, 2009
  11. mmm your gaspacho looks good, but when I want something with a little more “meat on it’s bones” I have a standby recipe that I rely on many nights of the week. It’s Tosca Reno’s Mega-Muscles Minestrone Soup from her latest cookbook, The Eat-Clean Diet For Men.

    Allen Phillips wrote on June 17th, 2009
  12. Looks like a good soup, Mark, but your plating leaves quite a bit to be desired. :-)

    Keath Cole wrote on June 18th, 2009
  13. thanks mark! made this tonight and it was awesome.

    Hart wrote on June 19th, 2009
  14. I tried to improvise some gazpacho with tomatoes, cucumber, habanero chili sauce, coconut milk, avocados, spinach, sea salt and olive oil. The result… absolutely horrifying, possibly the worst food I have ever eaten. Not sure what went so badly wrong, I should have stopped for taste more often :)

    damnregistering wrote on July 2nd, 2009
  15. Sure, i’m late on this one, but I just tried is. I was craving tomato soup but wanted something cold, so logic ensued and gazpacho happened…

    I added horseradish and basil and then as the end I put in cold chopped shrimps, avocados, and scallops.

    El wrote on August 19th, 2010
  16. Just made this, was obviously very simple and tasted excellent. In my opinion a little to much garlic but all in all it will be going in the recipe book for further use.

    Eivissa wrote on August 19th, 2011
  17. I made this in my new blender, substituting a cup of fresh basil for the parsley, oregano & cilantro (just what I had… *shrug*)
    it was AWESOME.

    raw grokette wrote on September 4th, 2012

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