Gazpacho with Tomato Sherbet

Straight from Julia Reed’s book JULIA REED’S SOUTH, this gazpacho with tomato sherbert recipe is hearty and refreshing
Gazpacho with tomato sorbet

This dish has an inspirational history that winds from a country club in Nashville, Tennessee, to my friend Charlotte Moss’s garden. Years ago, I wrote a piece in the New York Times Magazine about the “frozen tomato,” an almost freakishly delicious tomato sherbet of a sort served at the Belle Meade Country Club, where my grandparents were members. Nora Ephron saw the recipe and wrote me a lovely, funny (of course) letter reporting that she’d added the frozen tomato to her heirloom tomato salad plate and that it was a huge hit at her Hamptons table. When Nora died, I decided to create a slightly less garish version (one without red food coloring or shredded pineapple—don’t ask!) as a centerpiece to a tomato salad inspired by her, and then I included it in a Wall Street Journal column. Charlotte saw that recipe, made it for a dinner party, and very sweetly wrote about it in her blog—adding that she plopped scoops of the leftover tomato sherbet into bowls of gazpacho at lunch the next day.

I tried the same thing almost immediately, and it turns out to be an inspired idea. It is an amazingly refreshing dish for a hot day. And I am grateful to both women for leading me to it. — Julia Reed


  • 3 large cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and roughly chopped
  • 6 large ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and roughly chopped
  • 2 red bell peppers stemmed, seeded, and roughly chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 2 garlic cloves, crushed and finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons Italian parsley leaves, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • Basil sprigs for garnish
  • Tomato Sherbet (recipe follows) for garnish


  1. Place the cucumbers, tomatoes, and bell peppers in the bowl of a food processor and add the lemon juice, vinegar, and olive oil. Process until just blended and still slightly chunky. Pour into a large bowl or soup tureen and stir in the garlic, parsley, salt, and black pepper. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 but not more than 8 hours.
  2. When ready to serve, pour the gazpacho into six bowls and top with a scoop of tomato sherbet and a basil sprig.

NOTE: I am generally an onion fanatic, but I like the simplicity and sweetness of this soup without the onion just this once. The acidic balance is pretty close to perfect, but if you must, you can add 1 small sweet onion, coarsely chopped, to the mix before processing.

Tomato Sherbet

Serves 6 as a garnish

  • 3 cups chopped, peeled, and seeded tomatoes
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon salt, plus more for the tomatoes
  • Freshly ground white pepper 1 cup Hellmann’s mayonnaise 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice 1⁄2 teaspoon Lea & Perrins
  • Worcestershire sauce


  1. Put the tomatoes in a heavy- bottomed saucepan and season them with a healthy pinch of salt and a few lashings of white pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally and scraping the bottom of the pan.
  2. Transfer the tomatoes to a blender or the bowl of a food processor and puree. Place 2 1⁄2 cups of the puree in a medium bowl and chill in the freezer until ice-cold but not frozen. Return to the blender or food processor and add the remaining puree, the mayonnaise, cream, remaining 1⁄2 teaspoon salt, the cayenne, lemon juice, and Worcester- shire sauce and blend thoroughly. Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

NOTE: You may need to finish the sherbet off in the freezer for an hour or so, or until the mixture is hard enough to make a solid scoop.

Recipe excerpted from Julia Reed’s South: Spirited Entertaining and High-Style Fun All Year Long by Julia Reed (Rizzoli New York). Copyright © 2016. Photographs by Paul Costello.

Remembering Julia Reed

Julia Reed's South book cover