Sunday, September 23, 2012


Hot gazpacho, a cooked version, served in a cazuela.

You probably think gazpacho is “cool”, as in chilled. But this one is “hot,” as in heated. It still qualifies as gazpacho because it’s made with bread and olive oil, the essential ingredients for gazpacho whether tomato-red or almond-white. (See the recipe for classic gazpacho here.)

I’ve got a second crop of tomatoes ripening and green peppers galore. As the days are finally beginning to cool (I hope the change of seasons also brings some rain), cold gazpacho is not as appealing as it was only a couple weeks ago. So I am making this “hot gazpacho.”

Ripe figs to garnish the soup.
In my village, where it’s known as gazpacho caliente or sopa de tomate, it is served with slices of ripe figs—also in season—as garnish. Sometimes it also has clams or salt cod added.

The soup can also be pureed.

The soup can be pureed, if you like, making it more like smooth gazpacho. But it is perfectly ok to leave it with bits of vegetables in the broth. This home-style soup is usally made with water, but chicken, meat or fish stock can be used instead. You should use enough bread to almost soak up all the broth. If it’s not tomato season, the soup can be made with canned tomatoes. No figs? Use grapes or chopped apple for garnish instead.

Lots of bread to soak up the broth.

Hot Gazpacho
Gazpacho Caliente 

Serves 4.

1/3 cup olive oil
4-6 thick slices of country bread
1 medium onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2-3 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon pimentón (paprika)
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon ground pepper
Red pepper flakes (optional)
1 teaspoon salt
5 cups water or stock
Fresh figs, peeled and quartered
Mint sprigs
Chopped green onion

In a soup pan heat half of the oil. Fry the bread slices until golden on both sides. Remove and reserve.

Add the remaining oil to the pan and sauté the onion, pepper and garlic until softened, 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook over high heat for 5 minutes more. Add the pimentón, cumin, pepper, pepper flakes and salt. Add the water or stock and cook for 15 minutes. (If desired, use an immersion blender to puree the soup with one slice of the bread.)

Immediately before serving place a slice of bread in each bowl. Ladle the soup over the bread. Garnish with figs, mint and green onion.

1 comment:

  1. One of my favorite things about living in Spain is the continual process of discovering how some of my already favorite foods like gazpacho have so many delicious meanings. I've never seen this one before and am eager to try it (once the cooler weather reaches Murcia), and definitely topped with fresh fig!