It’s August and I’m on the lookout for delicious meal ideas that don’t require me to apply heat or work hard. Gazpacho to the rescue! It needs only a blender and the refrigerator…no stovetop, oven, or grill necessary. And it’s easy to make – the blender does the work, not you. Since everything gets pureed, only minimal chopping is required.
Gazpacho is extremely good for you. It’s made entirely of fresh vegetables and seasonings. And it’s served cold. What could be more nutritious and refreshing than that?
Most gazpacho recipes call for bread or bread crumbs to thicken them. My friend Traci, of A Spoonful of Paradise, a great cook and wellness coach, taught me to use zucchini to thicken the gazpacho instead of bread. It works wonderfully and makes the soup gluten free and low carb.
This recipe calls for canned plum tomatoes. Even in mid-summer, the tomatoes here in Hawaii, and I suspect many other places, just aren’t that sweet. They tend towards the tasteless and watery and canned tomatoes just taste much better. If you’re lucky enough to live somewhere with great fresh tomatoes, by all means, use those instead.
- For the Soup:
- 1 (28 ounce) can plum tomatoes, including the juice, or 2 pounds fresh tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1/2 medium zucchini, unpeeled and roughly chopped
- 1 medium cucumber unpeeled and roughly chopped
- 1/2 large, or 1 medium red or yellow bell pepper, roughly chopped
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 teaspoons red wine or apple cider vinegar
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- For the Garnish:
- 1 cucumber, unpeeled and diced
- 1 red, yellow, or green bell pepper, diced
- 2 avocados, cut into small chunks
- Put all ingredients in a large bowl and let stand 1 hour (You may skip this step if you're in a rush. Soup will still taste good). Pour into a blender and blend on high until completely smooth. You may need to blend in batches, depending on the size of your blender. May also be pureed in a food processor. If using fresh tomatoes, the soup may be a bit too thick. Add a little water to thin. Taste and more salt and pepper as required.
- Refrigerate for an hour or more until ready to serve.
- Serve soup with chopped vegetables on the side.