This traditional Spanish soup is full of wonderfully fresh flavours and packed with vitamins as all the vegetables are raw. Cool and refreshing, it is the ideal choice for a simple lunch or midsummer supper, with some seeded country-style bread or rolls. Or serve it as a light starter on a warm evening.
In very hot weather, add a few ice cubes to the soup just before serving, to keep it well chilled. This will also slightly dilute it. * To make a fresh green soup, use 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) courgettes instead of tomatoes and cucumber. Add 450 ml (15 fl oz) vegetable stock, preferably home-made, instead of the tomato juice. Use a green pepper instead of a red one. Add 15 g (½ oz) fresh basil leaves and 85 g (3 oz) pitted green olives. Mix, purée and chill the soup as above. Serve with a diced green pepper instead of red.
Up to 70 per cent of the water-soluble vitamins – B and C – can be lost in cooking. In this classic soup the vegetables are eaten raw, which means they retain maximum levels of vitamins and minerals. * Peppers have a naturally waxy skin that helps to protect them against oxidation and prevents loss of vitamin C during storage. As a result their vitamin C content remains high even several weeks after harvesting.
Excellent source of niacin, potassium, vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B6, vitamin C.
With vine tomatoes that smell just right this makes a very good gazpacho. The texture of the croutons and crunchy chopped vegetables makes it really appetising and good to look at as well as to taste. My guests lapped it up and asked for more. Half or less of a red pepper and a couple of spring onions would be fine for the garnish and my guests would have eaten far more croutons. As they are easy as well as cheap to do, double the quantity - brown bread works well, too. - 06 Jun 2015
One small tweak made this very authentic. Andalucians make this as a very cheap recipe, so use all fresh local produce and it makes a delicious and healthy lunch. In much of Andalucia it is served in a glass, so needs to be thinned using only water. - 17 Jul 2010
Altered ingredient amounts. Half the quantity of onion and garlic. Just core the tomatoes, no need to remove the seeds. Just water instead of tomato juice. Gives a more authentic flavour. - 17 Jul 2010