Chilled Spanish Gazpacho

This is a truly beautiful soup for serving ice-cold during the summer and it's particularly refreshing if we're lucky enough to have hot weather.

However, please don't attempt to make it in the winter as the flavourless imported salad vegetables will not do it justice.

Serves 6

This recipe appears in Delia Smith’s Complete Cookery Course, The Delia Collection: Soup, Delia Smith's Illustrated Cookery Course and Delia's Vegetarian Collection

Chilled Spanish Gazpacho
 1½ lb (700 g) firm red ripe tomatoes
 4 inch (10 cm) piece of cucumber, peeled and chopped
 2 or 3 spring onions, peeled and chopped
 2 cloves garlic, crushed
 ½ large red or green pepper, deseeded and chopped
 1 heaped teaspoon fresh chopped basil, marjoram or thyme (depending on what's available)
 4 tablespoons olive oil
 1½ tablespoons wine vinegar
 salt and freshly milled black pepper
For the garnish:
 ½ large red or green pepper, deseeded and very finely chopped
 4 inch (10 cm) piece of cucumber, peeled and finely chopped
 2 spring onions, finely chopped
 1 hard boiled egg, finely chopped
 1 heaped tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
 salt and freshly milled black pepper
To serve:
 small croutons
 4 ice cubes


Begin by placing the tomatoes in a bowl and pouring boiling water over them; after a minute or two the skins will loosen and slip off very easily. Halve the tomatoes, scoop out and discard the seeds and roughly chop the flesh.

Now place the tomatoes, cucumber, spring onions, crushed garlic and chopped pepper in a liquidiser, adding a seasoning of salt and pepper, the herbs, oil and wine vinegar.

Then blend everything at top speed until the soup is absolutely smooth. (If your liquidiser is very small combine all the ingredients first, then blend in two or three batches.)

Taste to check the seasoning and pour the soup into a bowl. Stir in a little cold water to thin it slightly – anything from 5-10 fl oz (150-275 ml) – then cover the bowl with foil and chill thoroughly.

To make the garnish, simply combine all the ingredients together with a seasoning of salt and freshly milled black pepper, and hand them round at the table together with small croutons of bread fried till crisp in olive oil, well drained and cooled. 

Serve the soup with four ice cubes floating in it.

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