For the last few days it has been about a gazillion degrees in Los Angeles, and that may be an understatement. I still love to cook and I still need to eat and I always love soup so gazpacho is the perfect no-cook meal and it’s loaded with vegetables. Plus I can make a bunch of it and just pull this chilled soup out of the fridge whenever hunger strikes. As an added bonus it is healthy and light, full of vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, magnesium and fiber to name just a few of the nutrients in all those veggies. You can add chicken, shrimp, tofu or any kind of protein you like to round out this soup and give it a little oomf. Cheers to the dog days of the end of summer!
* My culinary posts are meant to be guidelines, not recipes. They are different from what you would usually find in a cookbook, because I think cooking should be inspired and new every time you do it. If you like heat, add a sh**load of cayenne or jalapenos to one of my recipes. If my guideline calls for cilantro but cilantro tastes like soap to you, leave it out. When I cook I get a buzz from the thrill of creation. The same can happen to you.
I made three versions, I love them all in their own special way.
3 or 4 medium tomatoes, any kind you like
1 medium cucumber
1 medium green pepper
1 small jalapeno
1/2 small onion
2 cloves garlic
1 small bunch cliantro
1 tbsp-ish balsmic vinegar (you can use any type of vinegar you like, but I prefer balsamic for this soup because it adds a complexity beyond just tanginess)
juice of half a lime
1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Chop all the veggies into chunks and chop the cilantro. Through it all in a food processor and pulse until you have a consistency you like.
I added one medium avocado chopped into chunks to the basic recipe and pulsed in the food processor. It adds a richness and heart-healthy fat to the soup. This was delicious, but looked a bit like baby vomit so….
I had never made this before today, but I was looking for something to make the soup creamy and happened to have kefir (cultured dairy with a consistency between milk and yogurt) in my fridge. I thought, “What the heck? I’ll dump this in there…” And I’ll be darned, it was freakin gooooood! And kefir adds protein and tummy-healthy probiotics! I added about 3/4 of a cup to the basic recipe guideline. Add more or less to attain the creaminess you want.
They were all so tasty, I actually licked the bowl. Happy Health!