Gazpacho Recipe from Alambique

The perfect way to learn about a culture is to eat their food with a great local cook. Cooking class at Alambique in Madrid fits the bill. Learn to make a traditional meal while the chef shares stories about the recipes, about the Spanish kitchen, Spanish tastes, and the origins of ingredients, while you all share some wine and follow along with the food preparation. Highly recommended. Maria Llamas, owner and daughter of the founder, was kind enough to share this recipe for publication. The photo is my own attempt at it at home.

“I have chosen to give the more traditional version here,” says María Llamas, “but recipes can always be adjusted to taste. Some regions, such as Extremadura, use pimentón de La Vera [a particular Spanish smoked paprika] in its spicy or sweet version, instead of cumin. Some do not like garlic in their gazpacho and prefer to add a quarter of a large onion instead. Others prefer not to add bread.” Some add strawberries or melon even. In any case, these should go in before the blender stage.


  • 2¼ pounds ripe tomatoes
  • ½ green bell pepper
  • 1 cucumber 
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • A few cumin seeds 
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons sherry or wine vinegar 
  • 2 slices day-old bread, without the crust
  • ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil 
  • 3 cups cold water

Wash the tomatoes and pepper and peel the cucumber. De-seed the pepper. Coarsely chop the tomatoes, pepper, and cucumber, reserving half of a tomato and a small amount of pepper and cucumber to finely dice for garnish. 

With a mortar and pestle, crush the garlic with the salt and cumin. Place the resulting paste in a bowl with the vinegar, and then add the bread, oil, and the chopped vegetables. Add ice-cold water and let it steep for at least 30 minutes, but preferably two hours in the fridge. 

Puree the mixture in a blender and adjust the seasoning to taste. Strain the mixture and place in the fridge to cool down. 

According to Llamas, gazpacho should be served very cold, and can be garnished with finely diced green pepper, cucumber, tomato, and bread or also finely chopped Iberian ham and boiled egg. Often you will have it in a small serving glass.

Kevin Revolinski

Author, travel writer/photographer, world traveler. Writes about travel, hiking, camping, paddling, and craft beer.

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