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The Best Chunky Gazpacho Soup Recipe

Updated on September 1, 2017
Margaret Schindel profile image

Margaret has a passion for cooking, baking, and creating recipes that satisfy her cravings for delicious and indulgent food.

My chunky vegetarian or vegan gazpacho soup recipe is healthy, refreshing and filling.
My chunky vegetarian or vegan gazpacho soup recipe is healthy, refreshing and filling. | Source

Gazpacho, a refreshing, chilled vegetable soup that requires no cooking, isn't just for summer! Tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, onions, apples, and fresh herbs are available year-round, so you can enjoy this delicious, healthy, low-calorie "liquid salad" all year long.

My chunky gazpacho recipe is thicker and more filling than most. It also packs several servings of nutritious vegetables into every bowlful! Pack some in your kids' lunch boxes inside a chilled thermos. Add some plain Greek yogurt or vegan cashew sour cream to top it off for some added calcium and/or protein.

This recipe makes a big batch, enough to feed a family for several meals. If your family is small, you may prefer to halve the quantities.

To make this vegetarian recipe vegan, just use a vegan Worcestershire sauce.

Bon appétit!

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You'll Need a Huge Mixing Bowl to Make the Full Recipe

I recommend using a stainless steel mixing bowl because it will help your gazpacho chill much faster and stay cold longer. Stainless steel is also unbreakable and dishwasher safe.

I took the step-by-step photos for this article when I was still perfecting this recipe. I was using an 8-quart mixing bowl, the largest I had at that time. However, as you'll see in the photos, by the time I finished tasting, adding ingredients, tasting, adding more, etc., I couldn't fit all the ingredients in the bowl.

Next, I purchased a 10-quart mixing bowl. All the ingredients fit, but there wasn't enough headroom to stir the soup without spilling it.

Since I knew I would be making this recipe often, I ended up also buying a 12-quart stainless steel mixing bowl that lets me stir my gazpacho without it overflowing. I also find myself reaching for it often while making other recipes. It's very large — about 14 3/8" wide (outside rim) and roughly 7" deep — but since I nest my other mixing bowls inside it for storage, it doesn't take up that much more room than the 10-quart bowl.

If you can't fit a 12-quart mixing bowl into your cabinet for storage, I suggest using a 10-quart bowl and stirring in the liquid ingredients slowly to avoid spillage.

Gather the Ingredients

You'll need:

  • 2 hothouse cucumbers, also called English cucumbers or European cucumbers (the long, thin cukes with dark green skin, sometimes sold sealed in plastic)
  • 3 bell peppers, yellow, orange and/or green (for a nice color contrast)
  • 1½ pounds of ripe, flavorful tomatoes (plum, Roma, grape or Campari tomatoes or locally grown tomatoes)
  • 1 large sweet onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 5 cups of tomato juice (half low sodium, if desired)
  • 4 cups of V8 vegetable juice - reduced sodium preferred
  • 1/2 cup good-quality balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
    • For a vegan soup, use a vegan Worcestershire sauce, e.g., Edward & Sons, Annie's Naturals or The Wizard's
  • 1/2 cup good quality extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 to 1½ tsp. kosher salt (or 1/2 to 3/4 tsp. of table salt)
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • Fresh basil
  • Fresh cilantro

Use Just-Picked, Locally Grown Vegetables and Ripe, Flavorful Tomatoes

Since the ingredients are raw rather than cooked, it's important to use the ripest, most flavorful tomatoes and freshest, tastiest vegetables you can find.

Local fresh produce often costs less and tastes better than the fruits and vegetables you find at the supermarket, which often are picked prematurely or genetically modified to withstand the rigors of shipping and other factors.

Buy from local farmers through a farm stand, food co-op, farmers' market or CSA, or grow your own if you can!

Dice the Cucumbers and Place Them in a Very Large Mixing Bowl

Diced cucumbers
Diced cucumbers

Wash the cucumbers and trim off the ends. Slice the cukes in half lengthwise and place them cut side down on the cutting board. Slice one of the halves horizontally into 1/3" thick planks. Slice the planks lengthwise into 1/3" wide strips, then crosswise into 1/3" dice. Repeat with the remaining cucumber halves and place the diced cucumbers into a 10- or 12-quart mixing bowl.

Dice the Bell Peppers

Diced bell peppers
Diced bell peppers

Slice off the ends (top and bottom) off the peppers with a sharp chef's knife. Remove the stems and reserve the ends. Stand a pepper on end and slice straight down through one wall. Slide the knife along the inside of the wall to slice away the whitish ribs. Then flatten the pepper against the cutting board and slice it into strips (julienne) around 1/3" wide. Slice the strips crosswise into dice, the dice the reserved ends and add the peppers to the mixing bowl.

Chop the Tomatoes Coarsely

Coarsely chopped tomatoes in food processor
Coarsely chopped tomatoes in food processor

Wash the tomatoes well and slice them into approximately 3/4" cubes. Pulse them in a food processor a few times until they are coarsely chopped and add them to the mixing bowl.

Coarsely Chop the Sweet Onion and Mince the Garlic

Chopped onions and minced garlic added to chopped veggies and tomatoes
Chopped onions and minced garlic added to chopped veggies and tomatoes

Peel the onion, slice off the root end, and then cube and pulse in the food processor until it is coarsely chopped, as you did with the tomatoes.

Slice the root ends off the garlic cloves and peel the cloves. Mince the garlic very fine.

Add the onion and garlic to the bowl.

Shred the Basil Finely and Chop the Cilantro Coarsely

The chopped vegetables, tomatoes and herbs
The chopped vegetables, tomatoes and herbs

To make a basil chiffonade (the culinary term for a mound of fine strips or shreds), wash, trim and neatly stack 5–10 large basil leaves. Roll the stack tightly, lengthwise, so it's long and thin. Use a very sharp chef's knife to cut very thin slices. Separate and loosen them to create a fluffy pile of shreds. Measure and repeat, if necessary, to get 2–3 tablespoons of shreds.

Note: For the batch I photographed, I chopped the basil shreds as an experiment and decided I prefer the full shreds.

Next, hold half a bunch of fresh cilantro by the stems and swish them vigorously in a bowl of cold water to remove any grit from the leaves. Dump out the water, rinse the bowl, fill it with fresh cold water and, again, swish the cilantro vigorously in the water. Repeat, if necessary, until the water remains clear. Shake off the excess water briskly and pat the cilantro dry between paper towels. Lay the stems flat on a cutting board and use a sharp chef's knife to slice off the leaves. Discard the stems. Chop the leaves coarsely and measure. Repeat, if needed, so you have 3–4 tablespoons of chopped cilantro.

Scrape the basil shreds and chopped cilantro into the mixing bowl.

Stir The Contents of the Bowl Thoroughly

Chopped veggies, tomatoes and herbs for gazpacho
Chopped veggies, tomatoes and herbs for gazpacho

Add the Liquids

The liquid ingredients for gazpacho: Tomato juice, V8 juice, olive oil and balsamic vinegar
The liquid ingredients for gazpacho: Tomato juice, V8 juice, olive oil and balsamic vinegar

Stir in the tomato juice, V8 mixed vegetable juice, balsamic vinegar and Worcestershire sauce (regular or vegan). Stir in most of the 1/2 cup of extra-virgin olive oil and give taste a spoonful. If the taste is a bit too sharp for your liking, add the rest of the olive oil to smooth it out.

Season to Taste and Chill Well

Bowl of gazpacho soup with plastic wrap
Bowl of gazpacho soup with plastic wrap

Taste the soup for saltiness. Depending on whether you used low sodium tomato juice and/or V8 juice and also how salty the Worcestershire sauce you used is, your gazpacho might not need any additional salt. If it does, add up to 1½ teaspoons of kosher salt (or up to 3/4 tsp. of table salt). I prefer to use kosher salt for most dishes because it doesn't have the slightly metallic taste of iodized table salt, but either type is fine. Stir in only a little salt at a time, taste, and repeat. The soup definitely should not taste salty, just well seasoned! Err on the side of using too little salt, since the flavor of the salt seems to develop during the chilling period. You can always add more later.

Stir in some freshly ground pepper to taste, then cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and chill the gazpacho for at least 8 hours or overnight. Then taste for seasonings and adjust them if necessary to suit your personal preference.

Adjust Seasonings and Serve with Desired Accompaniments

Just before you're ready to serve, remove it from the refrigerator. Give it a good stir and taste it. If needed, add more seasoning and/or a bit more of any of the liquid ingredients to adjust the taste as you prefer. Serve the gazpacho ice cold.

It tastes great either plain or with a topping. My family likes to add a dollop of plain Greek yogurt, low-fat or fat-free sour cream and a sprinkling of chopped fresh cilantro. Vegan cashew sour cream would be a wonderful non-dairy, soy-free, vegan substitute alternative.

Please Rate This Gazpacho Recipe - Thank You!

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© 2013 Margaret Schindel

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    • Margaret Schindel profile image
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      Margaret Schindel 2 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Lorelei, I'm SO glad I was able to introduce you to gazpacho! It's one of our go-to meals in the summer - easy, healthy, cold, refreshing and delicious. I think you'll love it! And you can adapt it to your own preferences very easily. Thanks so much for your visit and your lovely comment.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 2 years ago from Canada

      What a wonderful summer soup recipe. I had never heard of it before so you introduced me to a very new dining experience. Salad in soup form - I would never have dreamed it was possible. Thank you so much for sharing.

    • Margaret Schindel profile image
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      Margaret Schindel 3 years ago from Massachusetts

      Thanks so much for your wonderful comment, Pam! I really appreciate your visit and your enthusiasm for my recipe. :)

    • Pam Irie profile image

      Pam Irie 3 years ago from Land of Aloha

      It's been so long since I've made this wonderful soup. My husband won't eat it so I have to make a smaller batch, but reading about it again just made me want to eat it SOON! :)

    • Margaret Schindel profile image
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      Margaret Schindel 3 years ago from Massachusetts

      @aneeshasdad: Wonderful! I'm sure you'll love it. Enjoy my gazpacho soup recipe!

    • aneeshasdad profile image

      aneeshasdad 3 years ago

      That looks yummy! I'll be trying it very soon.

    • Margaret Schindel profile image
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      Margaret Schindel 3 years ago from Massachusetts

      @Johanna Eisler: Hi Joie! I just did a quick search and found this honey-based balsamic vinegar substitute: http://foodspring.com/content/honey-balsamic-vineg... Unfortunately, I wasn't able to find a sulfite-free Worcestershire sauce for you, but try making it with more of the honey vinegar and without the Worcestershire sauce. You may need to play around with the proportions a bit to get just the right amount of "bite." :)

    • Johanna Eisler profile image

      Johanna Eisler 3 years ago

      I have never eaten gazpacho, but I'd like to. Are there any substitutes for that wonderful balsamic vinegar? Any vinegar made from grapes is off limits to my sulfite-sensitive husband. I wish I could find sulfite-free Worcestershire sauce. (He cannot have anything that contains garlic powder or onion powder.) Substitution is the name of the game for us in recent years, and all suggestions are welcome. :)

    • Margaret Schindel profile image
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      Margaret Schindel 3 years ago from Massachusetts

      @Gypzeerose: Thanks, Rose! Sounds like you got the better end of that bargain. ;)

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 3 years ago

      This just sounds delicious! I love gazpacho and I ate it first on my first date with my ex-husband. Ditched the husband, but I have kept the soup. :)

    • Margaret Schindel profile image
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      Margaret Schindel 3 years ago from Massachusetts

      @RinchenChodron: Thanks! (Well, now I actually DO use a recipe... it's just my own!) ;)

    • profile image

      RinchenChodron 3 years ago

      I'm like you, don't usually use a recipe.

    • Margaret Schindel profile image
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      Margaret Schindel 3 years ago from Massachusetts

      @tok2gman: Thanks very much for your kind words and congratulations! :D

    • tok2gman profile image

      tok2gman 3 years ago

      Great lens and recipe! Thanks for sharing. I love gazpacho and have my version(s) as well. Congrats on Purple Star, well deserved.

    • Margaret Schindel profile image
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      Margaret Schindel 3 years ago from Massachusetts

      @anonymous: Thanks so much for your vote, and for letting me know! Much appreciated. {{{}}}

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      anonymous 3 years ago

      Hi me again LOL, wanted to let you know that your lens was my vote for the GoodVeg quest! Good luck

    • Margaret Schindel profile image
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      Margaret Schindel 3 years ago from Massachusetts

      @suepogson: Thanks so much for letting me know, Sue! :)

    • Margaret Schindel profile image
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      Margaret Schindel 3 years ago from Massachusetts

      @suepogson: Thanks so much for your lovely comment, Sue! I hope you enjoy my gazpacho recipe. :)

    • suepogson profile image

      suepogson 3 years ago

      just tried to like the lens but I can't - maybe I filled my quota. but I DO like it ... honest!

    • suepogson profile image

      suepogson 3 years ago

      Lovely lens and so detailed! I haven't had gazpacho for years - time to try it again I think.

    • Margaret Schindel profile image
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      Margaret Schindel 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      @Pam Irie: Awesome, Pam! Thanks so much for letting me know. I hope you love it!

    • Pam Irie profile image

      Pam Irie 4 years ago from Land of Aloha

      Yes! I'll be making this recipe for sure!

    • Margaret Schindel profile image
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      Margaret Schindel 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      @somebudiesangel2: Thanks, somebudiesangel2! I'm glad you enjoyed my recipe article and hope you enjoy the gazpacho soup just as much. :D

    • somebudiesangel2 profile image

      Tami-Lynn 4 years ago from North Vancouver

      Ive never made this...but will now:) Great lense:)

    • Margaret Schindel profile image
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      Margaret Schindel 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      @DawnRae64: Wow, Dawn, I'm honored that my recipe has inspired you to try gazpacho for the first time! I really hope you love it. Being able to make it with your own fresh tomatoes and cilantro should make it extra delicious. :D

    • Margaret Schindel profile image
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      Margaret Schindel 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      @tedwritesstuff24: Ted, we each have different tastes. As the French say, a chacun son gout! I appreciate your visit and your kind comment. I figure if my recipe looks "lovely" to someone who doesn't even like gazpacho, that's a very nice compliment. So many thanks! :D

    • Margaret Schindel profile image
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      Margaret Schindel 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      @anonymous: Thanks, awelldressedbullet! I'm so glad you enjoyed my recipe. I still make a thick, stick-to-your-ribs mixed bean, short ribs and vegetable soup that my mom used to make; there's something about the foods we grew up with that makes them comfort food. :Thanks for your visit! :D

    • DawnRae64 profile image

      Dawn 4 years ago from Maryland, USA

      I have never had the slightest desire to try Gazpacho. Until now. I am going to have to try this... especially since i have my own tomatoes and cilantro! Thank you for finally measuring and sharing. It looks delicious. :)

    • tedwritesstuff24 profile image

      TedWritesStuff 4 years ago

      I have tried Gazpacho over and over and each time....I just don't like it..It sounds and looks good but I guess I have been brainwashed into wanting my soup hot ;-( Yours does look lovely though.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      I love gazpacho soup, have been eating it since early 70's, I remember when my mother first made it I thought she was nuts LOL it is one of those soups that obviously will stand the test of time.

    • Margaret Schindel profile image
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      Margaret Schindel 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      @masunyoananda: You're very welcome, Nalini! I hope you enjoy it. :D

    • profile image

      masunyoananda 4 years ago

      It's the first time I'm hearing about this recipe and it looks delicious. I'm going to try it. Thanks for sharing something which is new to me as I love trying new recipes...:)

    • Margaret Schindel profile image
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      Margaret Schindel 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      @lesliesinclair: Papier, thank you so much for your wonderful compliment! I truly appreciate it. :D

    • Margaret Schindel profile image
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      Margaret Schindel 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      @ChristyZ: Thanks so much, Christy! I hope you get chance to try it. :D

    • lesliesinclair profile image

      lesliesinclair 4 years ago

      What a richness you share on this lens. Recipes sound delicious and photos are tops.

    • profile image

      ChristyZ 4 years ago

      What a healthy soup, it looks amazing.

    • Margaret Schindel profile image
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      Margaret Schindel 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      @Pat Goltz: Pat, I wish you luck finding restaurant gazpacho without onions and I hope you enjoy your first taste of gazpacho! :D

    • Pat Goltz profile image

      Pat Goltz 4 years ago

      I think I'll start by trying gazpacho at a restaurant, provided I can get it without onions. I may try making my own at some point. So many recipes, so little time!

    • Margaret Schindel profile image
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      Margaret Schindel 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      @darkflowers: Thanks so much for your lovely feedback, darkflowers, and for using the Reply button as a workaround to the temporary comment box glitch to share it with me! Much appreciated. :D

    • darkflowers profile image

      Anja Toetenel 4 years ago from The Hague, the Netherlands

      @Margaret Schindel: There is still no comment button, but I can use the reply one, I LOVE your recipe, it sounds very good and I'm going to try it this weekend. You can eat gazpacho all year! Thanks for sharing, I really enjoyed your Lens!

    • Margaret Schindel profile image
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      Margaret Schindel 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      @Diana Wenzel: Oh, my, Diana - a "gazpacho virgin"??? Well, good thing you can make sure your first experience with gazpacho is a good one with this recipe. ;)

    • Margaret Schindel profile image
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      Margaret Schindel 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      @David Stone1: Dave, thanks so much for your wonderful feedback! I'm so glad you enjoyed it.

    • Margaret Schindel profile image
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      Margaret Schindel 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      @Ruthi: Ruthi, I never even knew there was a Spicy V-8 version! If you like your food spicy it sounds like a great substitute for regular or low-sodium V-8 in this recipe. Thanks for sharing that great tip! :)

    • Margaret Schindel profile image
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      Margaret Schindel 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      @Nancy Hardin: Thank so much, Nancy! I'm delighted that you enjoyed my gazpacho recipe. Like you, I use Kosher salt in dishes where the salt flavor is pronounced and use iodized salt for other things to get the iodine. Great minds!

    • Margaret Schindel profile image
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      Margaret Schindel 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      @Susan Zutautas: Thanks so much for the lovely comment and the pin, Susan! I hope you enjoy it. I love cold beet soup, too, but I've never tried making it. Maybe you can share your recipe in a lens! :)

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 4 years ago from Colorado

      Can you believe I have never had gazpacho? Sad, but true. I guess I have lived a sheltered food life up until now. This looks like something I would really love. Thanks for the recipe!

    • David Stone1 profile image

      David Stone 4 years ago from New York City

      Mmmmm! Right up my alley. I love gazpacho, and I could just taste all those veggie ingredients as I read through. Perfect recipe lens.

    • profile image

      Ruthi 4 years ago

      I love Gazpacho and make it an an individual serving for myself quite often, since I'm the only one in the house who appreciates cold soup and/or vegetables! Your recipe looks generous and delicious and I liked seeing that V-8 as part of your recipe. I use Spicy V-8 in a lot of my soups.

    • Nancy Hardin profile image

      Nancy Carol Brown Hardin 4 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      Absolutely, I will try this. I loved your recipe, and I also love that you use Kosher salt because that's what I use too. The flavor it adds to any dish is much cleaner than the other salt. However, the other salt has Iodine added for thyroid health, so I use it for popcorn, baking bread, and so on. Love this lens!

    • Susan Zutautas profile image

      Susan Zutautas 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I will most definitely try your recipe. I make a cold beet soup but have never tried gazpacho. I look forward to making it. Pinning so I can easily find your recipe.