Warm weather is upon us for sure. We still may not be able to do all the fun things we used to do outdoors, but there is certainly nothing wrong with making your outdoor living space your ultimate utopia. My perfect background setting includes some Coltrane seeping through the speakers, an array of bistro lights strung up above while watching the sun set and the warmth of a fire pit, crackling and shedding heat on me while i curl up on my outdoor sofa, encapsulated by a Home Goods explosion of colorful pillows and a cozy blanket. Who needs a restaurant right? You have everything you need for the ultimate occasion, except something nice and cool to sip on. Healthy by nature and alcohol free by choice. When I lived in Mallorca Spain, I was introduced to a glorious sensation like no other. A sippable cold soup, exploding with intense flavors accompanied by the ultimate brightness of basically everything considered vegetable under the Andalusian Sun. Whether it is served in a mason jar, an elaborate floral bowl for those fancier occasions, or just in a little shot glass, meet your new summer bestie Gazpacho. Shaken or stirred, this easy sippable soup will have you bursting with veggie emotion overload, not to mention it’s so easy to make.
Gazpacho was born in the south region of Iberia, indicative of Andalusia, Spain. Sipped on warm days, which is an absolute daily given if you were fortunate to have lived in Mallorca, the main ingredients are comprised of everything fresh and everything raw, blended into a colorful frenzie; you honestly don’t feel bad drinking the whole pitcher. Low in calorie and bursting with flavor, it truly is a way to get a substantial amount of veggies into your system. Everything from fresh ripe red tomatoes, cucumber, a nice heaping bunch of fresh basil and mint, red pepper and balsamic vinegar are just some of the essential ingredients you need for this ultimate summer cool down. For heat, I will add a kick of flavor with a little jalapeno, but it’s not necessary. Every sip is a sensation not only satisfying, but really gives you those legitimate summer feels, which we all are longing for especially now. I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Ahhh, the blessings of living abroad. I was introduced to a little gazpacho secret ingredient that takes this recipe to the next level. The strawberry. Yes. A little pop of this tutti fruitti blended with your veggies adds that slight sweet note, which balances the acidity of the vinegar.
|Prep Time||30 min|
|Passive Time||1 h|
- 2 cups roma tomatoes chopped
- 1 small vidalia sweet onion rough chopped
- 1/2 cup red bell pepper you may substitute with yellow or green
- 1 small jalapeno chopped and seeded (optional)
- 1 cup english cucumber
- 1 lbs fresh ripe strawberries hulled and halved
- 1 clove fresh garlic
- 1/2 tsp fresh basil more to taste
- 1/2 tsp fresh mint more for taste
- 3 1/2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 tbs good balsamic vinegar
- Sea salt and fresh groung pepper to taste pink himalayan salt if you have on hand
- fresh sprouts for garnish
- white pepper to taste a little goes a long way
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1 1/2 ripe avocado
- In a hand blender, which I prefer, or food processor; slowly start adding all of your ingredients, Add olive oil and balsamic vinegar until everything is blended with desired texture and consistency,
- Set aside and refrigerate for at least one hour,
- In a separate bowl, blend avocado and yogurt. Add a pinch of salt and white pepper to taste. Feel free to add any other herb or spice; like fresh mint or cilantro. If I have Chinese Chili oil on hand; I usually add a pinch or two for some kick. This is your fat free: cream free avocado crema I use all the time here in Paris.
- Pour chilled contents into a glass; bowl or jar of choice and garnish with chopped tomatoes, halved strawberries, ribboned cucumber topped with avocado crema and a pinch of sprouts. Make it pretty for your guests.
- If you have an old wine bottle on hand; I like to funnel the remains into this and wrap some rafia around the bottle and place on the table for my guests. It ensures easy pouring and if there is any left over; it can easily be stored in the fridge.
Plating, or should I say decorating your summery soup goddess after it has chilled in the refrigerator is the fun part. Living in Paris now, my skills have become a little more on the fancy schmancy side, but after all is blended, and I promise again this recipe is so quick and easy, you can have fun with your garnish and plate with some diced tomatoes, a little chiffonade of fresh basil or mint, maybe a little dollup of an avocado cream topped with some fresh bean sprouts.
This recipe is fun, refreshing and so incredibly inexpensive. Enjoy as a breakfast pick me up alongside your poached egg, or perhaps an afternoon snack. I love this at sunset when the sun feels at its hottest, in between aperitif and dinner time, this recipe will relax your soul. Bon appetit!
Refresh, revive, renew and restore. This recipe will do it all.