If you think you don’t like gazpacho, I beg you to try this version, which is inspired by the pureed style of gazpacho that originated in the Andalusia region of Spain. In addition to ripe tomatoes, cucumbers, olive oil, bread, and garlic, my version has a roasted pepper (rather than a raw one) which adds a little bit of roasty-toasty depth to the bright flavors. Cilantro, serranos, and a bit of balsamic kick things up a notch, and the blender assures a lovely texture.

You’ll need time for chilling the soup; it can be made a day ahead. It should be served very cold. Don’t forget the garnishes for the contrasting textures.

Note: Beefsteak tomatoes vary a lot in size. While I’ve given you a range in weight so that you’ll have enough on hand, be sure to use the final measurement of 3 cups chopped in the recipe. Don’t be tempted to use more than 3 cups, though, or the proportions will be out of whack (and your blender will complain, too). 

This recipe was originally published in Fresh From the Farm: A Year in Recipes and Stories, by Susie Middleton (Taunton Press, 2014).

Serves 4


  • 8 slices baguette (about 3/4-inch thick)
  • 2 to 2 1/2 pounds beefsteak tomatoes
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced Serrano peppers (seeds and ribs included)
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 teaspoon chopped cilantro
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, more for salsa and croutons
  • 1 cucumber (about 8 ounces), peeled, seeded, and thickly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded, and roughly chopped (to yield about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar, more for salsa
  • 16 Sungold or other orange cherry tomatoes, cut into quarters
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons thinly sliced scallions (green parts)

1. Remove (and discard) the crusts from 4 of the baguette slices and rip the bread into pieces. You should have about (a generous) 1/2 cup bread pieces.

2. Core the tomatoes and cut them in half crosswise (through the equator). Put a fine-mesh strainer inside of a small bowl. Over the strainer, gently poke out most of the seeds and pulp of the tomato halves using your fingers. Set aside the liquid (“tomato water”) that collects in the bowl under the strainer; you can use this later to thin the soup if you like. Roughly chop the tomato halves and measure out 3 packed cups for the soup (some liquid will come with the chopped tomatoes). 

3. Put the garlic, Serranos, 1/3 cup chopped cilantro, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a blender. Blend on high, stopping to scrape the blender from time to time, until well-chopped. Add the tomatoes, cucumber, roasted pepper, balsamic vinegar, 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and the 1/2 cup ripped baguette pieces. Blend on high for two solid minutes until very smooth and a tad frothy. Taste and add more salt if desired. If the soup seems a bit thick, add some of the reserved tomato liquid (start with about 1/4 cup) and blend again. Chill in the refrigerator until very cold, at least 2 hours.

4. In a small bowl combine the Sungold tomatoes, the scallions, the remaining teaspoon cilantro, a pinch of salt, 1 teaspoon olive oil, and a few drops of balsamic vinegar. Toss well.

5. Heat a gas grill on medium or a broiler on high. Brush the remaining bread slices generously with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt. Grill or broil until nicely toasted on both sides, about 1 minute per side. Coarsely chop each baguette slice into small pieces. 

6. Ladle the cold gazpacho into wide, shallow bowls (or small bowls) and garnish each portion with a generous sprinkling of croutons and a nice scattering of Sungold salsa. (You may not use all of the croutons.) Drizzle a little olive oil over all as well if you like.