In the dog days of summer, we’re grateful for this easy gazpacho recipe, which comes together quickly in a blender, no cooking necessary. The raw preparation, however, means there’s no hiding behind substandard tomatoes—and you’ll want at least two varieties for this recipe, heirlooms for the base and cherry tomatoes for the garnish. If you aren’t making the soup the same day you buy your tomatoes, be sure to store them on the counter (rinse them first to prevent fruit flies) to preserve their flavor.
The best gazpacho is served ice cold, so after blending, chill your soup for at least an hour. When you’re ready to eat, feel free to play around with the garnishes. Chop up some fresh tomatoes, English cucumbers, and red peppers—the same veggies that went into the soup base—for texture. Or, toss on some croutons for crunch or pickled red onions for bite. For a party appetizer, you may want to serve the soup in shot glasses with just a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and a fresh grinding of black pepper. And if you’re in the mood for something even bolder, this watermelon gazpacho with kimchi is a vibrant, kicky alternative.
English hothouse cucumber, peeled, seeded
large red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded
pounds very ripe red tomatoes, preferably heirloom, cut into ½-inch wedges, 3 tablespoons seeds reserved
large shallot, chopped
garlic clove, finely grated
tablespoons (or more) sherry or red wine vinegar
Flaky sea salt
tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
Quartered cherry tomatoes, chopped chives, and grilled or toasted country-style bread (for serving)