Gazpacho may hail from Spain, but it sure spends a lot of time in our backyard June through August. This light, vegetable-based, chilled soup makes the perfect refreshing companion to cookout fare on hot summer days and nights, not to mention an unexpected alternative to any salad. If you’re not convinced, we’ve got four inarguable reasons why gazpacho rules summer, plus four recipes to try asap.
The WOW Factor.
The vibrant colors of gazpacho are a knockout, and by its very nature, gazpacho is versatile when it comes to presentation.
Serve in shot glasses if you’re planning on hors d’oeuvres, or offer larger servings buffet style in cocktail glasses in any size, shape or color that suits the occasion.
This brightly hued soup begs for a garnish—we like cucumber and chive for a traditional recipe, but the possibilities are endless.
Traditional gazpacho consists mostly of nutritious pureed veggies, while the addition of bread to the mix makes for a more filling course. This Gazpacho from the Andalusia region of southern Spain contains a mere 110 calories per serving.
In the blistering summer, gazpacho retains the traditional and comfortable vibes of warm soup, but trades piping steam for cool refreshment. Laced with peak-season veggies like tomato and cucumber and chilled to perfection, gazpacho just can’t be beat when it comes to relaxing in the sun.
Not Just for Tomatoes Any More.
While the gazpacho game is traditionally dominated by the tomato, it’s easy to find any number of gazpacho recipes these days featuring less traditional—but equally refreshing—main ingredients.
Take our Watermelon Gazpacho with Herb Oil, for example. It still contains tomatoes, but fresh melon is without a doubt the main attraction in this sweet and savory soup. Or try Gazpacho Blanco on for size, which ditches tomatoes entirely in favor of white grapes and almonds.
Any way you slice it—or puree it, we should say—gazpacho is the always cool and perfectly refreshing standout star of summer.
—By Alissa Harb