3 Secrets to Making Great Gazpacho

Photo: Jason LowePhoto: Jason LoweBy Lynn Andriani

Me, I like to reach for a cold bottle of iced tea mixed with lemonade when I'm feeling wilted by the summer heat. If I were Spanish, though, after waking from my afternoon siesta, I'd probably reach for a bottle of... gazpacho?

RELATED: Recipes from Oprah's Summer Get-Togethers


Yes. Though technically a soup, gazpacho is thirst-quenching enough--and, if you puree it finely, liquid enough--to be drunk straight from the bottle, which is how many Spaniards enjoy it, says Claudia Roden, who spent years researching her new 624-page doorstopper, The Food of Spain. Roden told me gazpacho is so popular in Spain, even supermarkets sell it by the bottle. For the rest of us, though, it's easy enough to make at home. And if you're so inclined, I've found the perfect gazpacho containers (funnel required).

RELATED: How About a Charred Spanish Ham and Cheese to Go With Your Gazpacho

Roden says:

1. Use very ripe tomatoes
2. For the bread that helps thicken the soup, use a hearty country loaf, something with a nice, firm texture.
3. Have fun with garnishes--chopped cucumber, red onion or scallions, red or green pepper, toasted cubes of white bread--but skip the watermelon if you want to stay authentic.

Here's Claudia Roden's recipe for gazpacho.

RELATED: "Fruitful" Summer Recipes

More from O, The Oprah Magazine:

Like O, The Oprah Magazine on Facebook