What the Heck Is Mangospacho (And How to Make it)
Give summer-fresh gazpacho a tropical twist with a mango-licious base.
Julie Martens Forney
Beat summer heat with a refreshing sip of chilled mangospacho. This cool dish takes its cues from traditional gazpacho, featuring a basket of garden-fresh ingredients you can grow yourself. Things like cucumber, pepper, tomatillo, green onion, basil and cilantro pay homage to the classic summer soup. All are easy to grow in planting beds or pots.
Mango replaces tomato as the base for this quintessential summer soup, adding tropical punch that brings a sweet backdrop to the dish’s homegrown flavors. Ripe mangoes offer the most flavor and sweetness. Approach finding a ripe mango the same way you choose a peach or avocado, focusing on the feel of the fruit. A ripe mango has a slight give to it when you squeeze it gently (but don’t press so hard you bruise it). If a mango is very ripe, you may detect a fruity fragrance near the stem end. Ignore the skin color. Different varieties develop different degrees of redness. Hard, under-ripe mangoes ripen readily when left on the counter a few days.
Mango nectar enhances the tropical flavor in this gazpacho. It has a thicker consistency than juice, delivering a velvety sip. It’s the key to mangospacho’s stick-to-your-ribs nature (this gazpacho is surprisingly filling). Look for mango nectar in the Mexican section of your grocery store.
Julie Martens Forney
- 1 cup mango nectar
- 2-3 large mangoes, peeled, pitted and diced
- juice of 1 lime (roughly 1-1 1/2 tablespoons)
- juice of 1/2 lemon (roughly 1 1/2 - 2 tablespoons)
- 1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
- 1/4 cup diced sweet pepper (red Aconcagua pepper works well)
- 1/4 cup minced green onions (include some of the green top for color)
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
- 3 tomatillos, husks removed and diced
- sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1: Peel, pit and dice the mangoes, placing two of them into a food processor or blender. Set the third diced mango aside. Pulse the mango to puree it, slowly pouring in mango nectar while the machine is running. Puree the mixture until it’s smooth. Transfer to a large bowl.
2: Add the remaining diced mango, along with diced onion, cucumber, pepper, tomatillo and herbs. Stir gently.
3: Add fruit juices—orange, lemon and lime. Stir gently to blend in the juices.
4: Season with salt and pepper to suit your palate.
5: Chill for several hours or overnight. When serving, garnish with herbs or edible flowers.
Yield is four to five 1-cup servings. Store mangospacho in an airtight container for up to five days. Flavors continue to blend and develop in storage, delivering a delicious, changing bite.
- Adjust the spiciness by adding jalapeno pepper, which blends beautifully with the sweet mango tones. Include seeds to bring on more heat.
- Give this an Indian flavor profile by adding fresh chopped ginger and curry powder (start with 1/2 teaspoon) to taste.
- Hit the heat even harder with a Jamaican jerk blend. Add seeded, diced habanero pepper, along with ground allspice, nutmeg and cinnamon to taste.
- Whisk in plain Greek yogurt (1/2 cup) to incorporate protein.
- Love Thai food? Add minced kaffir lime leaves (one or two) and a splash of fish sauce. Add minced lemongrass and garlic to this blend to shift the soup toward Vietnamese flavor profiles.
Serving Ideas for Mangospacho
Grab some glasses. In parts of Andalusia, Spain, where gazpacho is rumored to have originated, it’s typically served in a glass as a drink. Fill small juice glasses with mangospacho and garnish with calendula blossoms for a whimsical, cooling treat.
Serve it first. Use it in a traditional soup role to start a meal as a sweet-and-spicy first course.
Toss a salad. Partner it with a simple summer salad featuring fresh-from-the-garden gleanings.
Pair with bread. Make a meatless meal of it by serving with artisanal crusty bread and cheese. Or step it up to a meaty feast by combining with an antipasto platter.
Include fish. Refreshing mango marries well with seafood, including shrimp or salmon.
Match with skewers. Create your go-to kebab, and serve alongside a bowl of mangospacho. It can stand alone or be used as a dipping sauce.
Make it to go. Whip up a double batch, dole into mason jars, and grab for a quick lunch or snack.
Garnish creatively. Peruse your garden for fresh edibles to dress the spacho. Options include herb sprigs (basil, cilantro, mint, fennel), edible flowers (calendula, rose, nasturtium, pansy) or veggies (arugula, pea sprouts or pods, cherry tomato, pepper spear).