Courgette Gazpacho with Plum Vine Tomato Sorbet, by Derek Johnstone, Head Chef at Borthwick Castle

I’d like to share a simple gazpacho recipe with you today – a dish that is ideal for a quick summer’s lunch or served as a starter at dinner on a warm evening.

Gazpacho is a cold soup, a popular dish in Spain which originated in the southern region of Andalusia. The beauty of gazpacho is that it can be made well in advance, allowing you to spend more time at the table with family and friends rather than in the kitchen. Keep your gazpacho nice and chilled in the fridge and serve it once it’s ready – it’s healthy, straightforward, refreshing and absolutely delicious, which is always a winning combination as far as I’m concerned!

As with all dishes, sourcing the freshest ingredients is vital to the success of your gazpacho. Good quality courgettes, cucumbers and basil leaves are key to achieve the beautiful green hue of this dish, and those fresh flavours which just can’t be beaten. Over the years I’ve tasted a variety of different flavoured gazpachos – tomato is particularly popular – but I do think this courgette recipe is up there with the best of them.

Serving gazpacho with savoury sorbet gives the dish a nice little kick, and ripe plum tomatoes really complement the flavours of the courgette. Sorbet is deceptively simple to make; you can use an ice cream maker if you have one, but this recipe sets just as well after a few hours in the freezer. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Serves 4


For the courgette gazpacho:

300g courgette, cut into chunks

100g spinach, washed

1x green pepper, with the seeds removed

2x spring onions, chopped

3x cloves of garlic, crushed

5x leaves of basil

1x stick of celery, chopped

100g cucumber, seeded and chopped

50ml sherry vinegar

80ml olive oil

A pinch of salt

A dash of green tabasco

For the courgette and green olive garnish:

25g diced pitted green olives

50g diced courgettes

A dash of rapeseed oil

Picked thyme leaves

Salt, to season

For the plum vine tomato sorbet:

4x plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped

15ml olive oil

30ml red wine vinegar

A pinch of chopped tarragon

A pinch of cayenne pepper

45ml simple syrup (equal amounts of water and caster sugar, boiled and cooled)

Zest of ½ small orange (blanched and cut into short, thin strips)

20g finely diced shallots


For the courgette gazpacho:

1. Bring a pot of water to the boil. Boil the courgette for one minute, then add the spinach.

2. Cook for 30 seconds, then drain and refresh.

3. Mix the rest of the ingredients for the gazpacho together and leave to marinate overnight.

4. The next day, liquidise the mixture in a food processor and strain through a fine sieve. Leave to chill until ready to serve.

For the courgette and green olive garnish:

1. Wash, dice and pan fry the courgettes in the rapeseed oil until soft and lightly coloured.

2. Leave the courgettes to chill, then season with salt and add the picked thyme leaves.

3. Mix the courgettes with the diced green olives and set aside until ready to serve.

For the plum vine tomato sorbet:

1. Make simple syrup by mixing equal parts boiling water and caster sugar. Leave to cool and set aside until required.

2. Bring the tomatoes to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce the heat and cook, stirring often for around 45 minutes, or until the tomatoes are reduced by half. There should still be some liquid remaining in the pan.

3. Heat the oil, add the shallots, and cook for 7-8 minutes until tender.

4. Add the shallots to the tomatoes, then add the orange zest.

5. Leave to chill, then liquidise in a food processor, along with the rest of the ingredients.

6. Churn in an ice cream machine to create the sorbet. Alternatively, leave in the freezer overnight to create the sorbet.

To serve:

Pour the chilled soup into bowls. Serve with a scoop of tomato sorbet in the centre of each dish, on top of a spoonful of diced courgettes and olives.