in the raw June 11, 2008


It’s hot. Outside, that is.

Here in Atlanta, we experienced a bit of a heat wave last week. When I say a "bit" of one, I mean it was unbearably hot that I had a hard time leaving the house. When its 90 by 10 am (!!!), my reverse seasonal disorder kicks in and all I want to do is lay around. If it’s too hot for me to put clothes on to go to the grocery store, you know darned well it’s too hot to be actually cooking anything.

Thankfully, I am a huge fan of cold summer soups. Gazpacho, in particular. My mom always made it and when I was younger, it was just one of those weird foods. As I got older, I started to appreciate the depth of flavors and its versatility more and more. While I love the pureed, thinner kind…my mom’s version was always a little chunkier, so that’s my preference.

I ran across this version on-line and was intrigued by the addition of barley into the soup. I’ve never had gazpacho with anything but veggies in it. The barley added some oomph to the soup, made it more filling while still allowing it to be light and refreshing. I didn’t use the canned spicy tomato juice, choosing instead to add my own Tabasco and spices. I also substituted a fresh seeded jalapeno for the canned ones. It was delicious the day I made it but I highly recommend letting the flavors stew and percolate together overnight.

Chilled Barley Gazpacho Soup – adapted from a recipe originally found here

  • Three 13-ounce cans low-sodium spicy tomato juice
  •   Two 14 1/2-ounce cans chopped tomatoes and juice
  •   2 cups cooked pearl barley (see note)
  •   1 cup peeled, seeded and chopped cucumber
  •   1 cup chopped red bell pepper
  •   1/4 cup chopped cilantro or Italian parsley leaves
  •   1/4 cup chopped green onion
  •   1 tablespoon chopped canned jalapeno chilies
  •   1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
  •   1/2 ripe avocado, peeled, seeded and sliced


Cook’s tips to help in preparation: To seed cucumber, cut in half and
  use a small measuring spoon to scrape out seeds. Your gazpacho may be prepared
  ahead and refrigerated — in fact, making it a couple of days before serving
  allows the flavors to blend better — but do not add avocado until serving

To cook pearl barley:
In medium saucepan with lid, bring 3 cups water to a boil. Add 1 cup pearl barley;
  return to boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook 45 minutes or until barley
  is tender and liquid is absorbed. Makes about 3 to 3 1/2 cups. Place any extra
  cooked barley in an airtight container and refrigerate or freeze for up to one
  week. For best results, bring cooked and chilled barley to room temperature
  before using.

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except avocado. Cover and refrigerate to chill. When ready to serve, ladle into soup bowls and garnish with avocado slices


Kitt Jun 11, 2008 07:06 am

Interesting! I’ve always used Moosewood’s recipe as the basis for my gazpachos, but I like the idea of adding some grains, too.

GadgetGeek Jun 11, 2008 08:06 am

Wonderful looking and the proper temperature for this kind of heat. I LOVE the addition of grain, is that the secret ingredient? I was going to guess Ouzo.

Sorina Jun 12, 2008 12:06 pm

It look’s to good to be through I am definitely going to try this

Terry B Jun 12, 2008 03:06 pm

This sounds so refreshing as Chicago is being hit with another wave of muggy heat. And the barley is an interesting call. Marion has already made some of her delicious gazpacho at our house this season.

Chris Jun 12, 2008 04:06 pm

This sounds perfect for this crazy heat that came and hit us like a ton of bricks! :) Yum!

Meg Jun 16, 2008 10:06 am

Reading about the heat wave on the East Coast has been a little surreal, since we’ve only just climbed out of a loooong slump of gray, rainy 50 degree weather. I finally threw the towel in and started making more roasts and soups and wintry foods, since the kids were coming home from school chilled and needing hot cocoa. I love gazpacho (I’ve never added pearly barley to it; I’ll have to give it a go), and although the weather here has improved (for now), it seems almost impossible that it will get warm enough to make it.

Rowdy food Jun 16, 2008 04:06 pm

I imagine that avocado works nicely in the mix.
Speaking of mix, how about a little dash of Ketel One in there?
Beautiful soup.

Swizzlesticks Jun 18, 2008 09:06 am

Love the idea of adding grain. I usually go all natural… But I’m going to try yours next!

Sophie Sep 9, 2008 11:09 am

We would like to feature your gazpacho soup on our blog. Please email if interested. Thanks :)
You can view our blog here: