My Thai tomato gazpacho will awaken your taste buds with its refreshing lemongrass flavor, gentle heat from the chilies, and richness of the coconut milk. This post is sponsored by Calphalon. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Beyond Sweet and Savory possible.
We’re way into late spring but the weather already feels like summer. With the scorching heat, I’m gravitating toward barely cooked meals, salads, cold noodles, and even cold soups like gazpacho. Gazpacho is a classic Spanish cold soup made from blended raw vegetables originating from southern Andalusia. Think of it as a “salad soup.” For my year long partnership with Calphalon, I’m excited to share my take on the classic gazpacho but bringing some Southeast Asian flavors close to my heart–bird’s eye chilies, marut lime, lemongrass, coconut milk, and fish sauce. My Thai tomato gazpacho will awaken your taste buds with its refreshing lemongrass flavor, gentle heat from the chilies, and richness of the coconut milk.
Tomatoes: Like the base of the classic gazpacho, my version has tomatoes as the heroes. For the best taste, seek peak season, sweet tasting, plum tomatoes. Heirloom tomatoes, Roma tomatoes, and vined round tomatoes are perfect for gazpacho. Since tomatoes have varying amounts of sweetness and acidity, feel free to adjust the lime juice and sugar to taste.
Lime juice: In place of sherry vinegar, I substituted lime juice to bring some acidity.
Shallot: I love using shallots instead of onion for their additional sweetness. If you can’t find shallot, red onion comes pretty close.
Garlic: You only need one clove. Too much garlic can be overpowering.
Bird’s eye chilies: I only used one since my family can’t tolerate a lot of heat. If you love spicy food, feel free to add at least two but taste as you go. Don’t blend all the chilies at once or it might become too spicy.
Lemongrass: Lemongrass brings a refreshing flavor essential to Southeast Asian flavor. Use only the young green parts.
Marut lime leaves: The lime leaves complement the lime juice and add a distinctive note.
Coconut milk: Coconut milk brings a certain richness and creaminess to the gazpacho. If you’re allergic to coconut, other nut milks will work. Heavy cream is also a great alternative to add richness.
Palm sugar: Depending on how sweet the tomatoes you use, a little bit of sweetness is needed. Adjust the sweetness level to your liking. If you don’t have palm sugar, granulated sugar will work.
Fish sauce: Fish sauce brings the umami factor and much needed saltiness. If fish sauce isn’t your cup of tea, salt is the perfect substitute but avoid soy sauce or the flavor profile won’t be the same.
How to prep tomatoes
For the tomatoes, cut them into slices. You don’t need to peel the skin or remove the seeds. Some gazpacho recipes call for scoring tomatoes with a cross, dropping them in boiling water for 30 seconds, then peeling, and removing the seeds. I find that too cumbersome. Everything will pass through a sieve anyway and the extra steps don’t add a significant difference in flavor.
How to make the gazpacho
There are two steps required for making the gazpacho. First the tomatoes, shallots, garlic, chilies, and lime juice are blended together in my Calphalon ActiveSense™ Blender using the smoothie food mode with thin consistency to get the smooth texture required.
Then the lemongrass and lime leaves infused coconut milk is added to the tomato mixture and blended to bring additional flavor.
With Calphalon’s innovative ActiveSense Technology™, the blender is able to sense the load of the ingredients and automatically adjusts blade speed, direction, and blend timing to deliver perfectly blended results. With the powerful 1200-watt motor and dual-direction blades, it pulverized even the lemongrass stalks and lime leaves.
This incredible blender has become my new kitchen workhorse. With five food functions: smoothie, salsa, milkshake, frozen drink, and juice, the Calphalon ActiveSense™ Blender has made meal prep more efficient. I use it daily for juice, smoothies, soups, dips, sauces, and keep the kids entertained with all sorts of frozen drinks and treats.
After you pass the mixture through a sieve, the result is a gazpacho with rich, creamy emulsion that has plenty of body. The texture is perfect, not watered down or chunky. If you prefer some chunks in your gazpacho, set aside 1 cup of the tomato mixture and use the salsa setting on the blender and add that as your garnishes for the finished soup.
To build on the delicious flavors already in my Thai gazpacho soup, I added in cooked shrimp, diced cucumber, radishes, micro basil, and roasted peanuts. My garden was overflowing with onion blossoms so I snipped a few and threw in the blossoms for a kick of onion flavor. The recommended garnishes require some extra steps but it’s completely worth the trouble. If you’re feeling lazy, use the reserved chunky tomato mixture from earlier as your garnishes.
The essential step
All good gazpachos need to spend a few hours in the refrigerator. A minimum of 2 hours is required. You can also make the gazpacho a day ahead and chill it overnight. This allows the flavors time to fully develop and the soup time to chill completely. Don’t be tempted to chill the soup with ice cubes. You’ll just dilute the flavors and lose that beautiful texture.
After 2 hours in the fridge, you’ll get a refreshing Thai tomato gazpacho with a smooth and almost fluffy texture. Imagine sweet tomato flavor enriched with coconut milk and layered with notes of lemongrass, lime, bird’s eye chile. This recipe is the perfect way to cool down and put those peak season tomatoes to good use.
Thai tomato gazpacho
- Calphalon ActiveSense™ Blender
- 1.5 lbs heirloom tomatoes
- 1 shallot, coarsely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
- 1 bird’s eye chile
- 2 cups coconut milk
- 2 stalks of lemongrass, pale inner green core, cut into 2 inch batons and crushed
- 5 marut lime leaves, crushed
- 1 tbsp palm sugar
- 1 1/2 tbsps fish sauce
- 1/2 lb medium shrimp, cooked and peeled
- 1 Persian cucumber, cubed
- 2 small radishes, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup roasted peanuts, chopped
- micro herbs for garnish (optional)
- onion blossoms for garnish (optional)
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, add coconut milk, lemongrass stalks, lime leaves, palm sugar, and fish sauce and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down and let it simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the saucepan from heat and let it cool to room temp.
- In the Calphalon ActiveSense™ Blender, add tomatoes, shallot, garlic, bird’s eye chile, and lime juice. Set the function to smoothie, thin consistency, and blend until smooth.
- Add the coconut milk along with lemongrass and lime leaves to the tomato mixture and blend again until smooth.
- Press mixture through a fine sieve into another bowl extracting as much liquid as possible. Discard the contents of the strainer. Chill the gazpacho for 2 hours.
- When ready to serve, give the gazpacho a quick stir. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary with additional fish sauce, lime juice, or sugar.
- Divide the gazpacho among serving bowls. Top with shrimp, cucumber, radish, micro herbs, onion blossom, and peanuts.