Gazpacho is a fresh and hearty uncooked vegetable soup whose origin can be traced back to southern Spain. If you are familiar with it, you know that summer can never be complete without gazpacho.
I don’t know about you, but the summer heat makes me rather lazy, so gazpacho comes in very handy when I am not in the mood to cook. I make gazpacho in batches, and store it in the refrigerator for the next day.
If you are wondering whether you can freeze gazpacho, this article is for you. We will discuss all you need to know about gazpacho.
Can you freeze it?
You’ll be glad to know that the answer is yes. You can freeze gazpacho. When frozen, gazpacho will retain its quality for up to 8 months.
When thawed, properly frozen gazpacho will taste like fresh gazpacho. If you freeze gazpacho with vegetable chunks in it, the texture may be slightly different. However, you can easily remedy this by blending it in a processor for 4-5 seconds.
How to properly freeze gazpacho
The first and most important thing about freezing gazpacho is straining out any chunks, this includes the cucumbers, watermelon, or even bread.
You can always add fresh fruits and vegetables once you thaw it. This is important because the chunks lose their texture when thawed.
Here are the steps you need to follow if you want to freeze your gazpacho properly.
- Ensure that the soup is at room temperature or cooler. Do not freeze gazpacho that is warm or hot.
- Pour the soup into airtight containers. I suggest using different containers depending on how much you will consume in every sitting as opposed to pouring it into one large container.
- Label the containers with the current date. This will help you keep track of it and know when it is no longer safe to consume.
- Close the lid and then place it inside the freezer. The soup will stay fresh for up to 8 months.
If you do not have airtight containers, you can always use a plastic bag.
Fill the bags with gazpacho then lie them flat in the freezer. This way, the gazpacho will freeze perfectly flat. Once completely frozen, you can position them vertically to create space for other products.
You can also use glass containers for freezing. Just make sure you leave about an inch of space on top since the soup will expand when frozen.
How to properly thaw gazpacho
Thawing gazpacho is very easy. You do not need to use any heat. The best way to thaw gazpacho is to place it inside your refrigerator overnight. This way, the soup will thaw and will be ready for consumption the next day.
If you forget to thaw it overnight, place it at room temperature.
Once it has defrosted, blend it in a food processor for 5-8 seconds. Garnish the soup with parsley, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, and any other ingredients you like before serving.
If you made extra gazpacho and have no room in the freezer to store it, don’t throw it out. There are creative ways you can use your leftover gazpacho. Here are a few.
Once you cook and drain your pasta, stir in some gazpacho and fried chorizo. This is one of my favorite pasta dishes, thank me later.
You can make a healthy smoothie using gazpacho. Just blend it with yogurt, and tropical fruits like mangoes, bananas, and pineapples.
Try cooking your grains in gazpacho until they are tender. I particularly love cooking rice and quinoa in gazpacho. The end result is amazing.
- Braised meat
You can braise chicken or beef in gazpacho until the meat is completely tender. This makes for an ideal mid-week meal.
If you want to spice up your paella, replace half the stock with gazpacho. You’ll love it.
What to serve with gazpacho and when to serve it
Since gazpacho is a tomato-based soup, it complements a crusty loaf of buttered bread. You can balance this flavor further with a glass of sangria.
Gazpacho can be served at any stage of the meal. You can serve it alongside the main course. It will provide both acidity and freshness. I highly recommend adding extra ingredients to the soup when serving it alongside the main course. You can add nuts, octopus, or even salmon.
In Spain, gazpacho is served as a small meal accompanied by other bite-sized dishes. In the Mediterranean, it is served as an afternoon snack.
How long can you store gazpacho in the refrigerator?
When stored in the refrigerator, gazpacho can stay fresh for up to five days. Just make sure that you store it in an airtight container.
If you leave vegetable chunks in the soup before storing it, the soup will only be good for the next two days. After that, the chunks will become soggy, and the soup will no longer be desirable.
Signs that your gazpacho has gone bad
The rule of thumb is that gazpacho can last in the refrigerator for five days. However, I have realized you can still eat it after a week since there are several factors that impact the soup’s shelf life, including how often the fridge is opened.
You just need to be on the lookout for signs that it has gone bad and is no longer safe to consume. Here are a few signs that your gazpacho has gone bad and should be discarded.
- Loss of flavor
The first sign that your gazpacho has gone bad is when it loses its flavor. When spoilt, gazpacho will not have an intense, pleasant fresh taste.
- Unpleasant tangy taste
Since vinegar is used as a major ingredient in gazpacho, its acidity will increase and the gazpacho will have an unpleasant tangy flavor.
Molds are an obvious indication that your gazpacho has gone bad, so discard it if you see any signs of molding.
- Change in texture
If you notice a change of texture in your gazpacho, chances are that it has gone bad.
- Bad smell
Gazpacho usually has a pleasant smell, so if you notice it has a bad smell discard it.
Interesting facts about gazpacho
- Gazpacho originated from Southern Spain. Currently, it is popular all over the world.
- The name gazpacho reportedly originated from the Latin “caspa” which means little pieces or fragments. There is a possibility that the fragments is in reference to the breadcrumbs used to thicken the soup.
- There are many recipes available for making gazpacho. However, the ingredients that are constant in these recipes are tomatoes, green peppers, cucumbers, garlic, olive oil, and water.
- A lot of people use breadcrumbs to thicken the soup. To garnish, most people use croutons.
I have always been a fan of gazpacho soup, especially during the summer when most of the ingredients are in season and bursting with flavor. I have this habit of preparing a large batch over the summer so that I get the best of all the ingredients since I can always freeze it. One of my favorite things about gazpacho is that it can stay fresh for up to 8 months when frozen.
The only challenge that comes with freezing gazpacho is dealing with vegetables or chunks of fruit that have a lot of water in them. I am of the opinion that it is important to strain out the vegetables and fruits before freezing. This way, you can always add fresh produce when you thaw the gazpacho.
If you by any chance leave in the chunks, chances are that their quality and texture will degrade when frozen. To remedy this, process the soup for a few seconds. This would improve the texture of the chunks.
I love gazpacho, if you haven’t tried it you are definitely missing out.