Tabouleh Gazpacho

May 28, 2010  •  Category:


This is a recipe from Lebanese chef Marlene Mattar; I tweaked it a bit, for a good cause (my tomatoes were tasteless). Chef Marlene took a Lebanese classic, our tabbouleh salad and converted it to a gazpacho. The result? A soup that will reconcile you with the scorching heat of summer. A cooling beverage of vegetable and grain bliss.

Presented in a classic cosmopolitan glass: Yesterday was the premiere of the ultimate chick flick “Sex and the City2” with a very Disney-like rendition  of their vacation in the United Arab Emirates.


  • 1 pound of (preferably) the best organic tomatoes you can find
  • 1 medium onion, quartered
  • a handful of chopped parsley (about 1/2 cup packed)
  • a smaller handful of chopped mint (or a couple tablespoons of dried mint, crumbled)
  • 3 Tablespoons of hot red pepper paste (optional, I added it)
  • 6 Tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
  • 4 Tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup of water
  • salt, dash of allspice and Aleppo pepper
  • 1/2 cup of coarse bulgur #3 or # 4
  • Garnishes: diced cucumbers, peppers, minced mint and parsley


  1. Peel and quarter the tomatoes; peel and quarter the onion.
  2. Chop parsley and mint. Dice the peppers and cucumbers, if using; squeeze the lemon juice.
  3. Boil some water and soak the bulgur for 10 minutes or so, until it is soft. Squeeze and set aside.
  4. Place all the ingredients in a blender: tomatoes, onion, water, pepper paste, spices, lemon juice, olive oil; purée for one minute.
  5. Pour into a bowl; add the bulgur and taste, adjusting seasoning. Garnish with the cucumbers and diced peppers. Serve cold.


78 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. A Canadian Foodie says:

    This looks like a fantastic cold soup. YUM I LOVE tabbouleh and all of the ingredients in this soup. But, what is Aleppo pepper? What does it taste like?
    I have no idea where to find it. I am a pretty good scrounger and know our city food stores well… and am always snooping at stuff. We do have a Lebonese grocer and I haven’t been for awhile as it is so far away,,, but tell me about it, and I will probably make the effort. But, if I do, I want a good list. I already have some great fresh sumac.

  2. Oui, Chef says:

    Joumana – I’m cooking an anniversary dinner for my in-laws next weekend, and I think I must make this as a first course. I don’t suppose you have a fabulous “middle-eastern” leg of lamb recipe for me as well? This sounds fabulous, and I’m sure they will love it! Cheers – S

  3. Nick says:

    Looks great!

    I’m coming back to Texas. I demand vast amounts of this.

  4. KennyT says:

    Yummy, refreshing and healthy, great for the heat and humidity here in Hong Kong. Am loving this gazpacho!

  5. Evel@CheapEthnicEatz says:

    Disney like…hahahaha. Good one. This would be a perfect cold soup for a hoit summer day…ie. this week

  6. Tim Vidra says:

    Wow amazing! I like a cold gazpacho with a couple of steamed shrimp diced up in it for a little thicker texture. I must say your version is beautiful!

  7. Carol says:

    Your gazpacho looks delicious!

  8. citronetvanille says:

    Oh alors là, j’adore…toutes ces herbes et le petit ingrédient qui fait toute la différence, c’est le bulghur. En fait, ca remplace le pain de mie, et ca me plait bien comme substitution. Cette couleur orangée avec la petite touche de vert c’est magnifique. Finalement le gazpacho est tres versatile. Superbe recette! En ce qui concerne Sex and the City, tout le monde en parle, et moi je n’ai jamais vu ce show, ni le film…Honte à moi!

  9. SYLVIA says:

    This is a perfect way to get the summertime soiree started, simple, clean, bright fresh flavors, it is mouth watering, serve it in margarita glasses, and you’ll see the smiles on your guests faces. This is a great modern refreshing take on Lebanese tabbouleh, it tastes as amazing as it looks. Thank you Joumana for another distinctive recipe. Have a great memorial day weekend.

  10. Rosa says:

    That Lebanese Gazpacho looks great! I like this version too.



  11. Murasaki Shikibu says:

    *Bookmarks the page quickly*

    I do complicated recipes from time to time, but I really do prefer the simple ones that yield great results. As you know by now I also have trouble getting all manners of ingredients and am happy when I find a recipe such as this where I’ve got them all already. 😉
    It’s getting very warm here now. It’s that time of the year for gazpacho and this is really an interesting variation of it.

  12. PJ says:

    Summer is too hot here in India[I am on a vacation :)] and I can feel the refreshing cool taste of that soup :)..Looks very tempting…

  13. Julie says:

    J’adore cette recette, je raffole aussi bien du gazpacho que du taboulé, je pense que c’est une recette que je ne vais pas tarder de tester, elle est parfaite pour l’été!!
    Gros bisous!

  14. sophia says:

    ah, I’ve always thought that cold soups don’t have much flavors…but this sounds like a party in the mouth to me!

  15. Kate at Serendipity says:

    Isn’t this gorgeous! What a wonderful idea for a hot day. I never would have thought of making a tabbouleh gazpacho. What a great idea! Thanks.

  16. peter says:

    A most colourful result and there’s no doubt of it’s deliciousness. Bad tomatoes? Splurge on cherry tomatoes, which are usually good all year.

  17. Louise says:

    A Gazpacho Cosmopolitan for the premier of Sex and the City 2; pricesless…

    I love this rendition, Joumana. Thanks for sharing…

  18. john@heneedsfood says:

    This looks and sounds so refreshing, though maybe not so appropriate with the cold weather we’re having here in Sydney!

  19. T.W. Barritt says:

    Lovely presentation! I’d forgotten that bread is added to the classic gaspacho, so adding bulgur is a nice twist!

  20. Susan says:

    I think I would like your version even better than traditional gazpacho and you made it so visually appealing in the Cosmo glass 🙂 Well done!

  21. Barbara says:

    Fabulous presentation, Joumana! Makes me want to lick the screen!
    And a brillliant idea to make tabbouleh gazpacho! I love,love, love visiting your blogt. Always so many creative ideas!

  22. FOODESSA says:

    Joumana, now that your son is coming to Montreal soon…I’m hoping we have a chance to get together and whip up a storm of flavours in the kitchen ;o) You’re absolutely welcome to get in touch if you so choose 😉
    Your adaptations of middle eastern recipes have completely lured me in. I always liked this ethnic food…with you, I’m getting to love it.
    Next week…I’m getting together with the girls to go see the continuing saga of Sex in which city??? No matter where they are…they keep my mind entertained on somewhat less important things…does my spirit loads of good!
    Flavourful wishes, Claudia

  23. dana says:

    i’m so glad to have found your blog! you have some amazing recipes here, and i like the look, too, very clean. i’m making this soup tomorrow. i’m just on my way to the farmer’s market. and that pork, with the orange blossom glaze, and sesame seeds, i love it! i’ll be back to graze some more. thanks for your visit and very kind words. have a good one!

  24. elra says:

    Joumana, I am not surprise if one of this day you tell me that you are going to open a restaurant. Look at all of this creative dishes you make. Very clever!

  25. Lentil Breakdown says:

    Beautiful presentation! But for the Sex and the City girls, I think they’d want a little vodka in there ; ).

  26. Skip to Malou says:

    Great presentation and very sex and the city-usque… haha! I think your tweaking made the gazpacho good… my father in law told me that i could replace canned tomatoes with the fresh ones, I never did though yet but maybe it’s worth the try? I don’t know, im not sure.. haha pardon the rambling of thoughts here…

    btw, i like your profile pic… you look great!

  27. Priya says:

    Tremendous and prefect gazbacho…looks awesome!

  28. Ivy says:

    What a great idea. I’ve never made a gazpacho before but maybe I’ll start with making a Greek salad gazpacho 🙂

  29. Katerina says:

    The fusion fashion has created some very tasty dishes combining ingredients from all over the world. This is a very lovely dish. Thnak you for your comments on my son’s school. It is true that in Greece these first classes are very demanding. They press children a lot and they have to learn a lot of informaton in a short period of time.

  30. grace says:

    brilliant! tabouleh is a favorite side dish for me year-round and gazpacho is my go-to summer soup, so i’m a huge fan of this creation!

  31. Vagabonde says:

    I enjoy eating very cold gazpacho during our warm and humid Georgia days, so I’ll try your variation. Quant au Sex and the City, je ne l’ai jamais regardé à la télé car mon mari regarde toujours des vieux films westerns et moi non. J’ai lu qu’ils ont filmé ça au Maroc car ce n’était pas possible dans l‘UAE. Je suis allée dans ces deux pays et vraiment le Maroc ne ressemble pas aux Emirats, mais le sable est le sable je suppose.

  32. lisaiscooking says:

    I love the idea of having some bulgur wheat in a gazpacho. I usually think gazpacho is too much like salsa, so this sounds great to me!

  33. rebecca says:

    oh this is so Sex and the City love it and got my apple tea from the Spice Bazaar as well sad to leave in a day Rebecca

  34. Magdalena says:

    This is a great and very nutritive gazpacho variation. Usually after traditional gazpacho I am hungry in 10 minutes. Yours contains boulgur and it is actually a full meal in hot summertime (although, so far, the weather does not spoil us here).

  35. Joan Nova says:

    Looks wonderful. I also love to serve it in martini glasses. I see that you used bulgar instead of the traditional bread. Yet another reason for me get some. 🙂

  36. Vagabonde says:

    Merci pour la recette de confiture de figues, mais c’est une recette avec des figues sèches. Je me demande comment serait la recette avec des figues fraiches? Il faudrait peut-être changer les ingrédients. Je n’ai fait qu’un seul post de recette, et c’était sur mes confiture de figues ( .) Les cartes postales sur mon blog sont sur les inondations (flood) de Paris.

  37. Lea Ann says:

    This sounds delicious. As always fabulous photos.

  38. Sarah Galvin (All Our Fingers in the Pie) says:

    What a great idea for a gazpacho. And somewhat hearty with the bulghur. It is so hot here when summer comes that I’ll have to try it.

  39. Bria @ WestofPersia says:

    What a cooling and refreshing recipe. Thanks for sharing it; I’ll be making it soon as the mercury continues to rise!

  40. Stella says:

    Hey Joumana, this tabouli gazpacho is a wonderful idea! I like the way you tweaked it too. Hmm, we can’t get good tomatoes here either (hydroponic tomatoes taste like water even if they’re organic). I think one has to grow tomatoes at home to get nice ones most of the time…

  41. Erica says:

    This gazpacho looks so yummy! I’m excited to make it!Sounds delicious.

  42. Arlette says:

    Marhaba Joumana,
    this is a nice twist to a Tabbouleh…
    Very intersting and refreshing soup…
    Are you almost packed and ready for the trip??

  43. marla says:

    I am so tempted by your gazpacho. What a great combo of flavors, I have never had anything like it. Well done 🙂

  44. marla says:

    BTW, I love the photo of you on the side bar. xo

  45. Mathai says:

    Two of my favorite dishes combined? Great recipe 🙂

  46. 5 Star Foodie says:

    What an amazing chilled soup and I love the presentation in the classic cosmopolitan glass!

  47. Sushma Mallya says:

    Very nice recipe,will surely try this one, beautiful colour too

  48. Angie's Recipes says:

    A very unique gazbacho! I love how you presented it!

  49. Vanessa says:

    I love gazpacho in summer but your version is even more interesting and looks absolutely fantastic. I always admire your photos.

  50. Jennifer says:

    The presentation is so chic, and the recipe looks fabulous!!

  51. fériel says:

    I am sure it must be delicious!

    Ideal for sunny days

  52. Alépine says:

    Original ! J’aime bien quand on revisite des grands classiques

  53. Katie says:

    Love this idea! The Spanish put lots of garlic in the Gazpacho – enough to induce a ‘mild sweat’. I like the idea of the lemon… and the bulgar ;-))

  54. pierre says:

    salut joumana
    je garde ta recette pour les journée plus chaudes ; ici il refait froid !! c’est horrible !! bizz Pierre

  55. Trissa says:

    Oh tabouleh as a soup – very unique and I am sure packed with flavour! How was the sex and the city 2 premier by the way? I can’t wait to see it!

  56. Joanne says:

    I just saw SATC 2 last night because I was a DIE-HARD fan of the show. I have to say I wasn’t in love with the movie, but I’m still glad I saw it. I needed a dose of Carrie Bradshaw in my life. I miss her.

    This gazpacho looks delicious! Such a unique recipe.

  57. Jen_from_NJ says:

    Making tabbouleh into a gazpacho is pure genius! Perfect for summer! I love your presentation – just beautiful.

  58. Suman says:

    gazbacho looks delicious…perfect beverage for hot summer days…thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe…have a nice weekend!

  59. theUngourmet says:

    This is a gorgeous gazpacho! It looks so fresh and delicious! Can’t wait for summer to arrive!

  60. Faith says:

    This is the perfect cooling soup for summer. Most gazbachos are very light (almost too light), but the addition of tabouleh is fantastic…now it’s still light and refreshing for summer, but it’s also a full meal!

  61. bellini valli says:

    This combines many of my favourite flavours and textures.

  62. Patty Price says:

    This looks amazing! I would love to try this soup, anytime!

  63. Meeta says:

    simply sensational joumana! now all it needs to do is get hot enough here for me to enjoy this!!

  64. Rajani says:

    wow thats creative, and perfect for summer lunch!

  65. Isabelle says:

    Ce taboulé gazbacho est à tomber! C’est une très elle interprétation d’un grand classique et ça doit être délicieux! À essayer très bientôt:)) Bonne journée!

  66. gourmandelise says:

    Il doit etre très bon ce joli gaspacho!

  67. Sasa says:

    Yum! Tabbouleh and gazpacho combined is a stroke of summer genius.

  68. Leesa says:

    This looks absolutely DELISH!!!! I think I’ll have to try it soon!

    Bonne semaine!

  69. Simona says:

    I am bookmarking this recipe for when tomatoes become available in our area. Your gazpacho is so tempting!

  70. Conor @ HoldtheBeef says:

    Another brilliant recipe. A little too cold here for such a thing but definitely will be putting this one away for later in teh year 🙂

  71. joudie kalla says:

    What a great twist on a classic dish that simply defines lebanese salad. I love this idea. It is very clever, looks delicious and you are very creative Joumana.

  72. Amber @Almost Vegan says:

    When I was younger, I didn’t enjoy all the parsley in tabbouleh, but over the years I’ve grown to love it. Just this weekend I had a very non-traditional “raw tabbouleh” – it had hemp seeds in place of the bulgur. So lemony and herby and good!

    PS—”The Disney version of their trip to the UAE” – haha, love it! Too true.

  73. Mimi says:

    I’m think you should be writing a cookbook, this is just another fabulous recipe.

  74. 12th Man says:

    Hi. Wanted to add a personal note about my tabbouleh piece.

    First, I hope I didn’t sound jingoist or xenophobic. Not my intention at all. Was hoping to humorously point out that lots of things that a lot of folks consider “foreign” are just the same old stuff, rearranged in an interesting way.

    The funny thing is, we took this salad to a party last weekend, and no one touched it. And then we realized, just about everyone there was a wheat farmer, or the child of wheat farmers. So it cracked me up (sorry — bad pun!) that these folks who grew wheat thought that bulgar or even cracked wheat was such an exotic food item.


  75. Jennifer Eremeeva says:

    This looks heavenly! Can’t wait to try it! I just got back to my home in Russia and found that there is no quinoa in Moscow to be had for any price…so I’m having a bulghar fest. Sarah from FoodBridge turned me on to your site and I am hooked!

  76. Caroline Kojian says:

    Tabouleh Gazpacho:-) What a great idea!
    I love making traditional foods and giving them my innovative twist…
    My favorite part of traditional tabouleh is the tangy juicy part, now I can just turn that to a gazpacho dish thanks to you 🙂

  77. Foodafok says:

    Very nice pictures. Professional recipe, thank Joumana.

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