RECIPE: CHILLED GAZPACHO SOUP
When I started working in catering, it surprised me that people found the concept of a ‘cold’ soup during summer quite strange. I found it to be refreshing, easy to make and a savoury version of a fruit smoothie! Try it, perfect served as a starter or a healthy instant meal.
YOU WILL NEED:
- 1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
- 1 green pepper, deseeded and chopped
- 1kg ripe tomatoes, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- 2 spring onions, trimmed and finely chopped
- 3 celery sticks, finely chopped
- 1 thick slice of stale crusty white bread, broken in pieces
- 2–2½ tbsp balsamic vinegar, or to taste
- Virgin olive oil
- sea salt and black pepper
- To garnish
- chopped peeled cucumber, tomatoes, celery
- fresh herbs like basil, origanum and/or parsley
- low fat plain yoghurt
- virgin olive oil
Place the cucumber, pepper, tomatoes, garlic, spring onions and celery sticks in a large bowl. Add the bread and season well with salt and pepper. Add the balsamic vinegar and a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and mix together with your hands, pressing down to squeeze out the juices. Cover with cling wrap and chill. Leave to marinade for at least 30 mins or (even better) overnight.
Place the mixture into a blender and whiz until smooth. Check the consistency. If it is still rather thick and not very rich, add another glug or two of olive oil until you reach a consistency you like. Taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary, a little more vinegar might be necessary. For a lighter version, I add some tomato juice. If it’s too sour a ¼ teaspoon of sugar will do the trick. Place back in fridge for at least 15 – 30 minutes.
To serve, divide the chopped vegetables and fresh herbs at the bottom of four glasses. Scoop the gazpacho mixture over it. I like to add a tablespoon of yoghurt and a drizzle of olive oil. Finish with freshly grinded black pepper and a sprinkle of chopped vegetables and herbs.
- This recipe is vegetarian, but omit the yoghurt or replace it with soy yoghurt for a vegan option.
- Use gluten free bread for a gluten free version.
- If you don’t add too much olive oil, it can be low in calories too.
- On a really hot day, add ice cubes to the soup mixture to ensure it stays ice cold. I would omit the yoghurt in this case.