In the dog days of summer, we’re grateful for this no-cook gazpacho recipe, which comes together quickly in a blender. The raw preparation, however, means there’s no hiding behind substandard tomatoes—and you’ll want at least two varieties for this recipe, heirlooms for the base and cherry tomatoes for the garnish. If you aren’t making the soup the same day you buy your tomatoes, be sure to store them on the counter (rinse them first to prevent fruit flies) to preserve their flavor. Once refrigerated, even the best ones will lose their glory. If you need a break from tomatoes, Cucumber-Tomatillo Gazpacho and Watermelon Gazpacho are just as refreshing on a hot day.
Editor’s note: This recipe was originally published on August 8, 2016.
English hothouse cucumber, peeled, seeded
large red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded
pounds very ripe red tomatoes, preferably heirloom, cut into ½-inch wedges, 3 tablespoons seeds reserved
large shallot, chopped
garlic clove, finely grated
tablespoons (or more) sherry or red wine vinegar
Flaky sea salt
tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
Quartered cherry tomatoes, chopped chives, and grilled or toasted country-style bread (for serving)
Cut 2″ of the cucumber into ¼” pieces and set aside for serving; coarsely chop remaining cucumber and place in a large bowl. Cut one-quarter of the bell pepper into ¼” pieces and set aside for serving; coarsely chop remaining bell pepper and add to bowl with chopped cucumber. Add tomatoes to bowl and toss with shallot, garlic, 2 Tbsp. vinegar, and 1 Tbsp. salt. Let stand 30 minutes at room temperature to let flavors meld.
Transfer tomato mixture along with any accumulated juices to a blender. Add 3 Tbsp. oil and purée on medium speed until smooth; season with salt and vinegar, if desired. Strain through a coarse-mesh sieve into a large bowl or pitcher and chill until cool, about 1 hour.
Divide gazpacho among bowls. Top with cherry tomatoes, chives, reserved cucumber and red pepper pieces, and tomato seeds; drizzle with oil and season with salt. Serve with bread alongside.
Do Ahead: Gazpacho can be made 1 day ahead; cover and chill.