Braden Family Cookbook

Chuck Braden

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GAZPACHO                         C.B. Spanish traditional


2 medium cucumbers, peeled and coarsely chopped
5 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped
1 lg onion coarsely chopped (take the skin off first of course!)
1 medium green bell pepper stemmed, seeded, de ribbed and coarsely chopped
2 tbsp. finely chopped or minced garlic
4 cups coarsely crumbled French or Italian bread, trimmed of crusts.
(This has to be “real” bread, with some consistency, not soft grocery store stuff)
3 cups COLD water
1/4 cup red wine vinegar (Greek if you can get it!)
3 tsp. salt (or to taste)
4 tbsp. virgin olive oil (Greek 1st, Spanish 2nd, Italian 3rd choice)
1 - 3 tbsp. tomato paste (try w/ one and add more if you want)


1 cup 1/4 inch bread cubes, trimmed of crusts
½ cup finely chopped onions
½ cup peeled, seeded finely chopped cucumbers
½ cup finely chopped green bell pepper ( you can use other colors but they are expensive)

Combine (in a big bowl) the cucumbers, tomatoes, onion, green pepper, garlic and crumbled bread.  Mix thoroughly.  Stir in water vinegar & salt.  Take about two ladles-full (about 2 cups) at a time and blend at high speed for about a minute or until reduced to a smooth paste.    Put blended mix back into a big bowl and whish in the olive oil and tomato paste.  This is where you may add more tomato paste if you wish. . . it makes the soup look a little better. 

Chill for at least two hours.  Serve from a big chilled bowl or into individual chilled bowls with the garnish items at the side for people to add as they wish.

Options:           you might want to bake the croutons in a hot oven after tossing w/ a little olive oil until crisp and lightly browned.  (400+ oven, preferably convection for about 6 - 8 minutes)