The great gazpacho

24 Aug

One night a week, my husband teaches at a local university. I typically use these nights to make foods that he would most likely not eat. Since he will eat most things, it’s a pretty limited selection. I can usually manage to find something that I’ve always wanted to try but I know he’d hate. Tonight, that selection was gazpacho. 

I decided I wanted to try gazpacho a few weeks ago after I saw a friend of a friend eating it.  Gazpacho always freaked me out a little (since it’s a cold soup which I think is just weird) but what this chick was eating looked so amazing, and smelled really good, that I made the decision to try it. The end result was way better than I had expected. 

I found this recipe on the California Avocado Growers Association’s website: 

Chilled California Avocado Gazpacho (from


The ingredients for delicousness


  • 4 cups chilled, canned tomato juice
  • ½ of a whole chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, with 1/2 teaspoon sauce
  • 14 oz. canned, diced tomato
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, cut into 1/4″ dice
  • 4 oz. diced sweet onion
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/4″ dice
  • ½ cup thinly sliced green onion
  • 15 oz. black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. granulated garlic
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 ½ tsp. hot sauce
  • 4 California Avocados
  • Cilantro or green onion brushes for garnish


  • Puree tomato juice, chipotle pepper and adobo sauce in a food processor. Add diced tomato and coarsely chop; transfer to large bowl.

I love this 1970s chic wonderfully large bowl.


  • Stir in remaining ingredients, except avocado and garnish

Chopped vegetables, before being added to the soup


  • Just before service: Peel, seed and dice California Avocados; stir into soup.

With avocado. Yum.


  • Per Order: Garnish with cilantro or green onion.

I made some modifications to the recipe: 

  • I omitted salt as the tomato juice had enough sodium and I didn’t want to use any additional;
  • I did not use any garnish because I’m not a fan of garnish;
  • I used a yellow pepper rather than a green one (even though a red pepper is pictured; I changed my mind last minute);
  • I only used half a cucumber because the one I had on hand was huge (seriously, it was like the Lexington Steele of cucumbers);
  • I used 1 avocado instead of 4 since I’m the only one that likes avocados;
  • I added in some croutons; and
  • I didn’t use the green onion (because I forgot about it). 

And, the next time I make this, I’m going to cut out the olive oil. I didn’t notice that added or subtracted from the taste and it just added unnecessary fat.  So, out it goes. 

I am unbelievably glad that I took the leap and tried this recipe. Even my daughter liked it (well, except for the onions and the cucumbers and the fact that she thought the black beans were chocolate chips) and asked for seconds. It is a great summer soup, or a great soup to bring if you need to travel (since it can stay cold and all–no heating required). The recipe does make a large batch of soup but that means it has my most favorite element to any recipe–leftovers: 

Leftovers and a recycled Chinese food container. Awesomeness in a plastic jar.


8 Responses to “The great gazpacho”

  1. Sarah August 25, 2010 at 11:02 am #

    looks good! i tried an avocado soup last night and we weren’t fans. maybe there’s too much of a good thing? anyways, this might be a good option to try next.

    • theemptykitchen August 25, 2010 at 1:53 pm #

      thanks for the warning about avocado soup. i love avocados and i love soup so i had imagined the two together would be outstanding. now i’ll have to be a little more careful.

  2. Conflicted Mean Girl August 25, 2010 at 1:44 pm #

    That actually looks good. Gazpacho always scared me too. I just imagine it to taste like regular soup that sat on the counter too long. Maybe I should start equating it to iced tea instead.

    • theemptykitchen August 25, 2010 at 1:56 pm #

      i had it in my head that cold soup was an abomination so the taste actually took me by surprise. and the fact that my daughter ate it made me even more confident that i did a good job!

  3. stephb August 26, 2010 at 10:18 am #

    was that my friend that inspired you? i have to say, her gazpacho smelled really good and made me curious, too! i’ll have to give this a try, and hopefully freeze some to have around for after baby.

    • theemptykitchen August 26, 2010 at 10:31 am #

      why, yes it was your friend!

      • stephb August 26, 2010 at 2:08 pm #

        i saw a recipe and thought of you today…asparagus and potato soup! MMMMMM! you could sub the bacon garnish for meatless, or just leave it off altogether. if you’re interested, i can email it to you 🙂

      • theemptykitchen August 26, 2010 at 2:33 pm #

        …wipes drool from mouth and desk…

        yes, please!

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