The beauty of Gazpacho: Fresh ingredients, super healthy and super delicious – plus you can customize to your own taste, make it fancy or just do a quick version and add your own favorite garnishes. This is a super easy food processor version.
I like to follow a basic outline that I got from Joy of Cooking or maybe Fannie Farmer, and I always use fresh, not canned, tomatoes – it makes all the difference in the world. Tomato prices are dropping in our neck of the woods and even though they aren’t local and won’t be for months, they’re starting to look better. I love spring!
Frugal Hausfrau’s Gazpacho, serves 6, $4.98
- 1 cucumber, peeled and seeded, coarsely chopped
- 1 bell pepper, cored, seeded and coarsely chopped
- 1 small onion, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup packed parsley leaves
- 2 1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes, blanched, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped – see Money and Time Saving Strategies, below.
- 1 cup tomato juice (or V-8)
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced or grated
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
Finely chop, but do not puree all ingredients. Do this in batches in your food processor. Stir well and refrigerate for at least two hours. Serve well chilled.
Put Your Own Spin on It:
- There are many, many versions of Gazpacho - they vary from place to place, family to family and season to season. Make this at home to suit you by varying the ingredients. Use a little hot sauce or red pepper if you don’t have jalapeno. Vary the vinegar for a different taste. I’ve even had gazpacho flavored like bloody Mary’s with Worcestershire and Tabasco with a jigger of Vodka or flavored like a shrimp cocktail. I imagine, if you’re a fan, you could use Clamato. Add a Mexican Salsa twist and garnish with Avocado…suuit your fancy.
- Some recipes use bread – I prefer the clean taste of the vegetables, with maybe some croutons on top – that, of course, doesn’t mean I’m right! If you want a thicker version, add in torn up bread. The No Knead Crusty Artisan Bread is perfect for this recipe, and makes great croutons, too. Only minutes of hand on work, it does need to be mixed up the day before: bonus – about a quarter to make.
- The other main variance is in the texture – my recipe is quick and easy, done in the food processor. You can certainly puree your vegetables until they are basically juice and then add in a few finely chopped vegetables for a garnish.
- Speaking of garnishes: You can use toasted croutons, bits of vegetables, or even shrimp, or just go very simply with parsley or chives.
Money & Time Saving Strategies:
For pricing, remember to use your coupon matching sites for your local stores. My favorite is Pocket Your Dollars in my area, but every store has a group of enthusiastic couponers who can point you to the best bargains. Don’t be discouraged if your prices are higher at first – just keep shopping the best sales and follow the strategies and you’ll get there! Check under Saving on Basic Ingredients for more detailed information and storage hints – use <control f> to search each page to bring you to the item you want to check out.
This recipe gets better after two hours, but improves even more over a few days – double it and have it for lunch or snacks. The olive oil may harden a bit in a cold fridge – keep it toward the front of your fridge and it will be less likely to happen. If it does, set it out at room temp for a few minutes or even pop it in the microwave for just seconds.
Onion: Buy onions whenever you see them drop in price and store in a cool, dark place away from any potatoes. I look for them at Aldi’s, and pick up a lot of my basic vegetables there for about half the price of a regular grocery store. Cost for the onion: 66 cents a pound, an onion is about 20 cents.
Bell Pepper: These can vary in pricing depending on the color, and of course, are always cheapest in the summer. There are two types of sales, per pound or per pepper. I usually look for the per pepper pricing; in my area it’s generally cheaper – I’ll then buy the biggest, most gorgeous ones I can find. The peppers are often bagged and sold by a unit price, too. A really good price in our area is about a dollar a pepper for the red, yellow or orange ones, and 50 to 75 cents for the green bell. Great prices come around every now and then and don’t seem to match the seasons! I usually try to stretch them when I can. They really do add an important flavor ingredient to a lot of dishes. Aldi’s, again, is another great place to find peppers – sometimes I’ll pick up the tri-color packages for $1.79. Cost: 50 cents.
Tomatoes: The Roma tomatoes were on sale, so I used them instead of regular. tomatoes – I paid $1.49 for 20 ounces and used two packages. Cost $3.00. To easily blanch, put some water on in a big pot to a good simmer. Cut an “X” in the top and bottom of the tomato and drop in the water for about a minute. You’ll see the skin recede just a bit – watch them – they’ll taste freshest if you don’t keep them in so long they start to cook. I like to drop them into very cold or ice water to cool them down and stop them from cooking any more. The peel comes right off and you’ll want to seed over a strainer in a bowl and work the juice through. I ALWAYS use fresh tomatoes – the extra work is justifiable here.
Cucumber: Another vegetable I buy at Aldi’s. A large one is about 50 cents. I peel, slice, and then run a spoon through the center portion, over a strainer in my bowl so I don’t lose any juices.
Garlic: Runs around 59 to 99 cents a head in my area in the boxes. It can be a little tricky to discern the best prices because it can also be bought by the pound, and generally you’ll pay less this way. I figure about 8 cents.
Parsley: I grow in my garden and bring indoors to kill over the winter! Just in case, I do chop and freeze some in ice-cube trays and they’re perfect for this. I throw them in a strainer and leave out, of pop in the microwave and then strain out. Cost 0.
Tomato Juice or V-8. Why not use V-8? I can get it on sale with a coupon for a buck, something that I’ve never seen happen with Tomato Juice and I get a few more nutrients. Another dirt cheap option is to save your juice when you use canned tomatoes. I throw it in a Ziploc and put it in the freezer. Cost: about 16 cents.
Olive Oil: My strategy for buying olive oil is to look for sales and combine with coupons. I look for about 8 cents an ounce (a tablespoon) so cost for this recipe is about 25 cents. Save the good stuff for drizzling and finishing.
Vinegar: Every so often they’ll have coupons for vinegar, making name brand lower than store price. Best time to buy is generally around Easter for the basic White or Apple Cider. Summer is usually when you’ll find the good cooking vinegar on sale. I’ll find sale prices, too, around Thanksgiving and Christmas. Stock up on the best prices because they keep forever. Often sales are not advertised, and you can find coupons, now and then, for both the basic and the fancier vinegar. Three tablespoons are about 5 cents.
Jalapeno: Freakishly expensive by the pound, they’re so small they’re very affordable. One small was 30 cents. Slice off the stem end, then slice down the middle. Use a spoon to very easily scrape off the ribs and seeds. The spoon conforms perfectly to the inside of the pepper. I don’t know why I always see Chefs on tv struggle with these – perhaps they’re overly attached to their knives! If I didn’t have jalapeno, I’d use a few red pepper flakes or several dashes of your favorite hot sauce.
Nutrition: Cal 408; Cal fr fat 382 (but the good kind – and it’s a teaspoon and 1/2 per serving; tot fat 43g; sat fat 3g; sod 394g; tot carb 5.3g; fib 1.47g; sug 2.47g; prot 1.1 g
Gazpacho is a mostly no cook meal that is amazingly healthy and fresh – and easy to make! Just work over a bowl when you prep your vegetables so you don’t have a huge mess to clean up.
- Healthy Gazpacho With Spicy Chiquita Banana Garnish Recipe (chiquitabananas.com)
- Tomato Gazpacho (accordingtorachel.com)
- Healthy Habits: Gazpacho with Shrimp and Avocado (fox4kc.com)