A gorgeous, vibrant summer soup, full of bright and sunny flavors, chilled Yellow Gazpacho will become your very favorite summer soup. Vegan, dairy-free, and gluten-free, this light soup is the perfect summer appetizer for brunch or a light lunch with a side salad.
Given the name of my blog, I’m a relative newcomer to the simple pleasures of a really good, chilled gazpacho. I mean, I’m all about the fresh veggie-stuffed summer minestrone (coming soon!), but once late July arrives and pulls up a seat in front of the air conditioner, neither stove nor oven get much of a workout until September.
So, soup as a go-to meal takes a backseat for the hot summer months, as I turn to crunchy green salads and grilled veggies. But this year, I stepped into gazpacho-mode in a sort of accidental, bass-ackwards way.
I had some leftover cauliflower fennel soup in the fridge one day, and a busy schedule meant an abbreviated lunch: I stood at the sink and finished off the soup, cold, straight from the container. So refreshing!
I love that soup. And not in small part because, if I could create a crayon called Sunshine, it would be the color of this soup. And it was absolutely delicious cold.
And that’s when the wheels started turning, and out the other side came this:
This yellow gazpacho is bold in color, thanks to a selection of yellow veggies, and big on flavor. What exactly is gazpacho? It’s a chilled soup made of blended raw vegetables, and hails from regions of Spain and Portugal.
The thing about raw vegetables — especially in-season vegetables — is that they have bright and snappy flavors that you can’t duplicate over heat. Roasted red bell peppers are rich and sweet, but raw bell peppers are like punch! zing! pow!, all crunch and astringency.
Even though I love hot soup (obvs), the thick comfort soups that sustain us in winter are just a little much in summer. But that’s where this yellow gazpacho steps up to show us the year-round soup lovin’ way.
Raw vegetables are blended with seasonings until super smooth, and then left to rest in the fridge, both to cool down and to finish marrying all the flavors into one cohesive whole. There’s nothing like a really good chilled soup on a hot, steamy day!
Gazpacho is normally served as an appetizer or first course, because it’s so deeply flavored and refreshing that a small bowl is the perfect amount. I also enjoy gazpacho as a side to a green salad — it’s the perfect lunch. And I can’t oversell the wonderful simplicity of dumping ingredients into a blender and — voila! — lunch.
Gazpacho tip: to produce a chilled soup without waiting, refrigerate the ingredients ahead of time and blend up the soup with a few ice cubes. You’ll miss out on the flavorful rest, but your soup will be temperature appropriate.
A quick word about the flowers in these photos: These are edible flowers that I bought in a pack at Whole Foods. I had no idea that marigolds were edible, mostly because their bitter (but intriguing) scent seems incompatible with tasty goodness.
I used just a few petals as garnish in this soup, and was pleasantly surprised — they reminded me of arugula. Other edible flowers include pansies, nasturtium, lavender, roses, and daisies. Take care, though, to purchase only organic flowers — you don’t want to consume pesticides with your soup! And, dog and cat owners, do note that many flowers are actually quite toxic (and even deadly) to your furbabies, so do your research before leaving tempting petals all over the kitchen.
Finally, this is a gorgeously colored soup, but the color of your soup will depend on the color intensity of the vegetables you use. My yellow cherry tomatoes and yellow bell pepper were a little on the orange side, so the soup in these photos is a deep yellow.
If you’re intrigued with the idea of chilled summer soups, try my Chilled Lemon Basil Avocado Soup, too.
Yellow Gazpacho - The Best Summer Gazpacho
- 2 medium/large yellow bell peppers , roughly chopped (about 3 cups)
- 12 ounces yellow cherry tomatoes , halved (about 2 cups)
- 3 ears sweet corn , kernels and milk*
- 2 teaspoons mild/sweet miso
- 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons very good extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon , finely diced shallots (about half of a medium shallot)
- 1 teaspoon kosher saltz
- zest from half of a lemon
- 2 tablespoons minced herbs (cilantro, tarragon, mint, or your favorite)**
- edible flowers , for garnish (optional)
- You'll need a large mixing bowl.
- If your miso is thick and pasty, loosen it first by mixing it, in the bowl, with 1 tablespoon of hot tap water (not boiling, just hot to the touch).
- Add all of the liquids, plus the salt, shallots, lemon zest, and herbs (and the miso, if you skipped the step abovto the mixing bowl and mix well.
- Dump in the vegetables and fold to mix well with the marinade. Let rest for 15 minutes, if possible.
- Pour everything into the jar of a high-speed blender, and blend until smooth.
- Optional: for a super smooth result, strain the soup through a fine mesh sieve, pressing with a spatula to push as much through as possible. For the record, I don't go this route, because I want all the nutrition of the soup intact.