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Classic Gazpacho with Homemade Croutons

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My mom introduced our family to Classic Gazpacho back in the 1970’s. It became a summer favorite topped with cucumbers, peppers and buttery homemade croutons!

Classic Gazpacho with Homemade Croutons in a white ceramic bowl

Classic Gazpacho with Homemade Croutons

I fell in love with this refreshing, cold soup as a child.  My first taste of a classic gazpacho was in a Swiss restaurant (weird, eh?) in Aspen, Colorado.  My dad studied at the Physics Institute there for a couple weeks each summer…at least on those days when he wasn’t scaling some mountain…and my family enjoyed the quaint, Victorian ski town before it became so chic.

We’d spend our days hiking or parked outside the music tent listening to the daily practices or, if we were lucky, my mom would treat us to lunch.  My sisters and I would be on our best behavior, and we got tastes of exotic dishes that weren’t so prevalent our Midwest college hometown.  It may have been at Guido’s where we all oohed and ahhed over our first tastes of this Spanish soup.

What Makes a Classic Gazpacho Recipe?

Gazpacho comes from the Andalusia region of Spain, though different regions have developed their own twists. Though there are zillions of gazpacho recipes out there, the true, classic gazpacho recipe has these traditional elements:

  • Tomatoes–Vine ripe or garden tomatoes preferred, but a good quality canned tomato will do in a pinch
  • Green Pepper–though I prefer red, green is traditional and offers a stronger flavor
  • Onion—the piquant tones are needed
  • Cucumber—I like to use an English cucumber so as to eliminate then need to remove the seeds
  • Vinegar—red wine or sherry
  • Olive oil—it adds a certain richness and mouthfeel
  • Bread—I’ve never blended bread into my gazpacho, but it does help to thicken the soup. I like my bread as croutons
  • Water or Tomato Juice–definitely debatable whether either are traditional, but they work well to thin your gazpacho

You can see why gazpacho is often referred to as a liquid salad! Packed full of delicious vegetables, it’s the perfect mid-summer lunch or a refreshing addition to any meal, whether a grilled steak or sandwich. Check out my Wazpacho for a twist on this classic. This Mango Gazpacho offers another terrific fruity twist and this Beet Gazpacho is stunning!

Classic Gazpacho with Homemade Croutons in a white bowl topped with cucumbers, peppers and croutons

Cold Summer Soup

Shortly after, my mom recreated this cold, tomato soup at home.  Back then, my favorite elements were the slightly salty croutons which she made by sautéing cubes of a baguette in butter. But now a combination of the veggie garnish with the slightly spicy tomato puree is what I consider pure bliss.

I’ve updated my mom’s classic gazpacho recipe by adding a wee bit of hot sauce, and switching out the red wine vinegar for champagne vinegar, only because I had a higher quality version of the latter in my pantry. Sherry vinegar is a great option, too. I hope this gazpacho will become a new summer favorite for you, too.

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Gazpacho | my mom's classic recipe from the '70's |That Skinny Chick Can Bake

Classic Gazpacho with Homemade Croutons

A spectacular cold tomato soup garnished with vegetables and homemade croutons.

  • Author: Liz Berg
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 15 mins
  • Yield: 6-8 servings 1x
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Blending
  • Cuisine: Spanish

Ingredients

  • 1 pound can of tomatoes (or fresh peeled and seeded garden tomatoes)
  • 20 ounces tomato juice
  • 1/2 cucumber, chopped
  • 1/4 green pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup champagne vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce, or to taste, optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Diced cucumbers, bell peppers, homemade croutons

Instructions

  1. Diced cucumbers, bell peppers, homemade croûtons to garnish (sauté bread cubes in butter until browned)
  2. Add all ingredients, except garnishes, to blender or food processor. Puree. Chill. Serve cold with diced veggies and croutons.

Notes

!Adapted from my mom’s recipe
To make homemade croutons, saute bread cubes in a combination of butter and olive oil with a sprinkle of salt.

 

 Old photo from early blog days, circa 2011Classic Gazpacho with Homemade Croutons | A chilled Spanish tomato soup topped with diced vegetables and homemade croutons

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29 comments on “Classic Gazpacho with Homemade Croutons”

  1. I now see where you got your cooking talent from!

  2. Love the fried croutons on top, but then I love anything with fried croutons on top! The addition of spice is right up my street too, lovely!!

  3. How refreshing on a hot day like today. Another great way to use up tomatoes, we can substitute the canned tomato for fresh?

  4. I *heart* gazpacho – I would happily drink this by the gallon Lizzy. Hope you enjoyed your break. I’m a bit behind in my reading due to terrible internet service – hope to catch up over the next few days.

  5. I am not sure about the name of the recipe but its a lovely tomato soup for me. My hubby will love it with toasted bread.

  6. I’ve never made this soup before, but it looks great and nice and refreshing during the hot summer months.

  7. We have always eaten cold fruit soups for the summer this sounds like it needs to be added to the list!

  8. Great summer soup for these last remaining warm days.

  9. Nice interview. I must try that peach or apple crisp with vanilla ice cream that you menion.

  10. I have really just become a fan of cold soup this summer. My mother-in-law made a fantastic version with lots of fresh herbs, it was delicious and yours sounds awesome too…love the champagne vinegar addition!

  11. Love the gazpacho … Looks so pretty!!

  12. Great interview, Lizzy!!
    The soup looks so yummy, but for some reason I have never been able to wrap my head around “cold soups”. My brain thinks every soup will be hot, so when I taste it, I’m thrown for a loop.
    I think it’s time for some reconditioning. 😉

  13. Great looking soup and lovely photographs.

  14. My husband is such a tomato fanatic, so this is perfect. He will be so happy and this particular recipe does look extra special. Glad you posted this.

  15. What nice gazpacho dear Lizzy!! gloria

  16. I have never tried gazpacho before. Such a great color, I will have to try it sometime. Great interview!

  17. What a perfect soup for the hot temps we are having here again!

  18. Ah Swiss gazpacho lol? That is funny. Your version looks excellent, I love it in the summer. Champagne vinegar is a nice touch!

  19. flavourful gazpacho looks colourful

  20. Yum!

    I haven’t made Gazpacho for years. I will have to give it another go when the weather warms up.

    BTW loved your Meyer Lemon Trifle, it looks delicious, I have bookmarked that one too 🙂

  21. This looks fabulous and I LOVE gazpacho! I like food memories attached to certain dishes. Headed over to check your interview now!

  22. Looks perfect! And I really enjoyed reading your interview!

  23. i love this all time…yummy one

  24. I’ve prepared gazpacho, but with fresh tomatoes, and was delicious … the perfect appetizer for summer dinners with friends! Beautiful post Lizzy 🙂

  25. There was a fabulous Mexican restaurant in my college town and their shrimp cocktail was actually gazpacho with shrimp in it served in one of those beer goblets. It was my absolute favorite thing to order! I miss it so much, because we haven’t found a good Mexican place in the three years we’ve lived in Wichita. 🙁 I guess I should try it at home!

  26. Gazpacho is such a lovely summer treat. I remember trying it as a young girl and being so surprised by the temperature and the taste! Thank you for sharing this delicious recipe, my sweet friend. I hope you have a wonderful Sunday. I’m smiling and my stomach is growling now 🙂

  27. What a refreshing soup for this season! I’ll try this out for lunch this week.

  28. I must say that this recipe is no correct.The gazpacho must have pepper and garlic, and not onion, not tabasco not even juice of tomato, and the bread must be fried in olive oil. You have done a delicious soup of tomato, but not gazpacho.

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