Gazpacho: A Glorious Late Summertime Spanish Soup

Gazpacho is a cold, tomato-based soup that originates from the Andalusia region of Spain. Earlier versions of gazpacho dating back to the 1500s (before tomato seeds were brought from South America), were typically made from crushed almonds, water, garlic, vinegar, olive oil and stale bread for a creamier, white soup. The bread was moistened with water and a little olive oil then crushed by hand with a mortar and pestle, followed by the rest of the ingredients. Cold gazpacho was a refreshing source of nourishment and helped to quench the thirst after a long day’s work in the hot sun.

Today, there are many variations on the classic tomato- and bread-based gazpachos. The white version (ajo blanco “white garlic”) is delicious with fresh green grapes. Watermelon is also a refreshing base for this soup.

Fresh, healthy, and easy to make, the crisp, zesty flavours of gazpacho are perfect for summertime. It’s a great dish for entertaining guests since it requires no cooking and can be made well ahead of time. Because it’s served chilled, gazpacho is a great choice as an appetizer or in contrast to spicier, hot dishes.

If you’re a gardener and end up with a surplus of tomatoes, make gazpacho. This soup is all about garden fresh and is bursting with flavour. Garnishes can include finely diced cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, and some fresh herbs like parsley, basil, and thyme. A few plump shrimp, or some crisp corn tortillas and some sliced lime are great toppers as well.


Gazpacho in Victoria 

Gazpacho at Red Fish Blue Fish in Victoria

Gazpacho at Red Fish Blue Fish in Victoria

During the summer months Red Fish Blue Fish serves a refreshing, house-made gazpacho. The recipe was introduced to the menu four years ago and is increasingly popular with customers. Manager John Camilleri says, “We sell tons of hot chowder, and we wanted to have something light and refreshing on the menu for summertime, with just a little bit of heat to it.” The flavour is crisp and citrusy with a little sweetness and a hint of spice. It’s an excellent appetizer to any of the hot menu items like fish and chips or the signature tacones. Each serving comes with a crispy corn tortilla and sells for $3.00 with the option of adding baby shrimp for an additional price.

Red Fish Blue Fish, 1006 Wharf Street, (250) 298-6877



Make it at home:

Traditional Gazpacho Andaluz

Prep Time: 15 min

Serves: 4 to 6



2 pounds vine ripened tomatoes (2 ½ cups, chopped)

2 thick slices day-old bread

1 green or red pepper, cored and de-seeded

1 medium cucumber, peeled

1 small onion

1-2 cloves garlic

2 tablespoons sherry vinegar

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper


Optional Garnishes:

Sliced avocado

Fresh herbs (basil, thyme, parsley), finely chopped

Hardboiled egg

Baby shrimp

Tortilla chips or croutons

Slices of lime



  1. Quarter the tomatoes and remove the stem. Tear the bread into large chunks. Peel and roughly chop the onions and garlic. Roughly chop the pepper and cucumber.
  2. Combine the tomatoes and bread by putting all the bread pieces into the bowl of a food processor or blender. Squeeze the tomato quarters over the bread then add them to the bowl. Let this sit for about 20 minutes to give the bread time to absorb the tomato juices and soften (if you prefer a thinner gazpacho, omit the bread and continue to the next step).
  3. Pulse the tomatoes and bread until blended. Add the pepper, cucumber, onions, garlic, vinegar, and a half-teaspoon of salt. Process continuously until the ingredients are liquefied and fully pureed.

Note: A food processor will make gazpacho with more texture; a blender or immersion blender will make the gazpacho smoother.

  1. With the blender running, stream in the olive oil. This helps it emulsify more evenly into the soup.
  1. Taste and adjust seasonings—add more salt, pepper, or vinegar to taste. If you’d like it thinner, blend in a little water.
  1. Transfer the soup to a storage container and refrigerate until chilled. Serve the soup with preferred garnishes.

Adapted from the recipe on the Spanish food blog, Spanish Sabores


Gazpacho Variations 

 Watermelon Gazpacho with Feta Crema

White Gazpacho “Ajo Blanco” 

Shrimp Gazpacho 




Written By:

Holly Brooke is a true B.C. gal. Having lived on the west coast most of her life, except for several years in the Kootenay's where she canoed and fished and lived in a tipi, she's very much at home outdoors and in the kitchen. ...

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