This easy anchovy gazpacho is a cold summer soup made with charred tomatoes, fresh cucumber, and anchovies.
The first time I tasted gazpacho, it was the end of a long-ago July, and I was in Paris.
I hadn't ordered the soup-- at least not on purpose-- and had never tasted cold soup before.
Cold soup seemed... wrong.
Soup's wonderful, but soup-- as far as I knew-- is HOT!
On that hot, sticky day though, with no air conditioner in sight-- I found myself staring at a bowl of gazpacho. I suspiciously leaned in and tasted the unfamiliar orange soup.
It was, of course, delicious, refreshing, and the perfect thing for a late summer evening. This summer anchovy gazpacho is inspired by the little French café where I had my first taste of Spanish cold tomato soup.
Garden Ingredients for Anchovy Gazpacho
This summer soup is perfect for days when your garden is overflowing, or when your neighbor's garden is overflowing, or when you went a little crazy at the farmer's market and bought more fresh summer produce than you meant to.
Use whatever type of tomatoes you prefer, but the more flavorful the better.
You'll also need a cucumber, some garlic, a shallot, fresh basil, a little vinegar, and some cream.
Why Use Anchovies in Soup?
Anchovies are small, very savory (and salty) fish.
Even if you've never seen one, you probably know that some people eat them on pizza, and you might know that they're one of the ingredients in a traditional Caesar salad dressing.
They're an easy way to add an extra depth of flavor to your food without changing the texture of the dish. In this soup, the anchovies are blended right in with the veggies.
Where Can I Buy Anchovies?
I buy mine canned, and it's usually near the canned tuna at the grocery store.
For this recipe, use just TWO anchovies from the can (not two CANS of anchovies!)
Want more canned fish tips? Check out this Ultimate Guide to Canned Fish.
How to Make Anchovy Gazpacho
To make this easy summer soup, start by sautéing the garlic and sliced shallot, and then take them out of the pan.
Next, add the tomatoes to your pan, and leave them there without stirring or touching them, until they start to blister and char.
Put the tomatoes, garlic, shallots, diced cucumber, and the anchovy to a blender basin. Blend until everything is smooth, and then add a dash of red wine or sherry vinegar.
Add some fresh basil and cream, and blend again until everything is smooth.
Chill your soup in the fridge, and serve it with fresh basil.
This soup is like eating summer in a bowl, and is the perfect light and refreshing meal on these last few hot and humid end-of-summer days.
Summer Soup: Anchovy Gazpacho
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 shallot, peeled + finely sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled + finely sliced
- 1 pound fresh tomatoes
- 1 large cucumber, peeled + deseeded
- 2 canned anchovies (packed in olive oil)
- 1 teaspoon red wine OR sherry vinegar, plus more to taste
- ~20 leaves fresh basil, divided
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- ½ teaspoon salt, to taste If you omit the anchovies, you may need more salt
- Heat 1 TB olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pan over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot and begins to shimmer, sauté shallot and garlic slices for 1-2 minutes, until golden. Remove shallot and garlic from pan, and set aside.
- If using campari or cherry small tomatoes, cut them all in half. If using larger tomatoes, core them and cut into quarters.
- Add 1 more TB olive oil to the pan. Set tomatoes into the hot pan, and don't touch them for about 3 minutes, when the tomatoes have dark char marks. Toss and continue to blister the tomatoes for about 1 more minute. Remove tomatoes from the pan.
- Add shallots, garlic, tomatoes, cucumbers, and anchovies to a blender basin. Remove the plastic lid insert from the blender lid to allow steam to escape, and cover with a towel. Blend until smooth. (Optionally, add all ingredients to a pot and use an immersion blender.)
- Add vinegar to taste. (The amount needed will depend on the potency of your vinegar and your taste preferences.)
- Next, add about ¾ of the basil leaves and the cream, and blend until smooth. Taste, and add salt if needed.
- Chill soup in the fridge for at least an hour before serving, and use within 3-4 days. Just before serving, roughly chop the remaining basil.
- Serve soup chilled in 4 small bowls, or 2 large bowls, and top with basil.
- Leftovers: Store leftovers in the fridge and use within 3-4 days.