Gazpacho of Cucumber and Fennel with Tomato Sorbet Recipe

Gazpacho of Cucumber and Fennel with Tomato Sorbet Recipe

Corbis/Lew Robertson


This cooling summer soup is a specialty of Bart Thoelen of Restaurant Les Palmiers in Laroque des Albères, a Michelin one-star in the Roussillon region of France, just over the border from Catalonia.


For the sorbet:

  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 leaf gelatin, soaked in cold water for 10 minutes
  • 1 pound very ripe tomatoes, peeled and seeded
  • 6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 
  • 5 dashes of Tabasco
  • Dash of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt

For the gazpacho:

  • 1 pound cucumbers, peeled and seeded
  • ½ small white onion, peeled and chopped
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • ¼ cup chopped fennel fronds or dill
  • 4 dashes of Tabasco
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup fresh bread crumbs


For the sorbet:

Combine sugar and 1 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly until sugar is well dissolved. Remove pan from heat and set aside to cool to room temperature.

In another small saucepan, melt the gelatin sheet over low heat until just soft.

Combine the syrup, gelatin, tomatoes, lemon juice, Tabasco, Worchestershire sauce, and salt in a bowl and mix well, then pass the mixture through a food mill or chinois (China cap). Add to an ice cream maker and process according to manufacturer's instructions.

For the gazpacho:

When the sorbet is frozen, combine the cucumbers, onion, lime juice, fennel fronds, Tabasco, salt, olive oil, and bread crumbs in a bowl and mix well. Let sit for 5-10 minutes, then process in a food processor or blender. Pass the gazpacho through a food mill or chinois (China cap), put into a non-reactive bowl, and chill, covered, in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours.

To serve, divide the gazpacho evenly between 6 chilled shallow soup bowls, then put a scoop of sorbet in the middle of each bowl (you will have some left over). Drizzle with good olive oil, if you wish.

Gazpacho Shopping Tip

Look for vegetables that are firm and bright in color – avoid those that are wilted or have wrinkled skins, which are signs of age.

Gazpacho Cooking Tip

Vegetable should typically be cooked as quickly as possible, as they can become bland and mushy, and lose vitamins and minerals.

Gazpacho Wine Pairing

Chenin blanc with cream soups; pinot noir, gamay, grenache, or other light red wines with tomato-based soups, including tomato-based seafood soups; sercial or bual madeira or fino or manzanilla sherry with consommé or black bean soup; amontillado with black bean soup.