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Santa Elena Style Gazpacho by Chef Forrest Parker of Undiscovered Charleston.

Santa Elena Gazpacho, 1566

  • Author: Chef Forrest Parker
  • Prep Time: 15 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 Hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 6 Servings 1x


When the Lowcountry gets hot, our tomatoes are bursting with  juicy flavor. Typically served cold, this quintessentially Spanish soup had me thinking its roots might actually lie with the Santa Elena settlement by the Spanish in 1566, near present day Beaufort, SC.

When the Spanish arrived, they were surrounded by palmettos (hearts of palm), chiles came from the Americas, as did tomatoes. All of the wealth arriving up through South & Central America would have been shipped back to Spain through Santa Elena, so we know those ingredients came through the early SC settlement.

Did gazpacho actually originate in SC? Possibly. Is this recipe delicious? Definitely!



2 large tomatoes

2 cucumbers

1 sweet pepper

Sherry vinegar


Hot sauce

Sea salt


Spanish smoked paprika

Hearts of palmetto (optional)


1. Cut top and bottom ends of marinated vegetables, reserving trimmings separately


2. Cut a lengthwise slit in tomatoes and pepper, laying them on cutting board. Filet them in a barrel-roll motion. Reserve seeds and pith


3. Peel cucumber and cut the flesh, avoiding the seeds, into quarters lengthwise. Reserve peel and seed core


4. Finely dice vegetables then season with salt, pepper, sherry vinegar, olive oil, and hot sauce. Chill.


5. For the broth, add veggie scraps, two cups of water, several dashes of sherry vinegar, and one tsp. of sea salt to blender. Puree to smoothie consistency. Strain through fine mesh trainer or coffee filter.


6. Serve the marinated vegetables in soup bowl, garnish with marinated hearts of palmetto and pinch of Spanish paprika and herbs.

  • Category: Soup
  • Cuisine: Spanish Lowcountry

Keywords: gazpacho, chef forrest parker, undiscovered charleston, santa elena