On a Hot Day Mix Up Some Gazpacho!!
Cold Soup, better known as Gazpacho, has started popping up on many Southern restaurant menus, and while it may take some time for us to “warm-up” to the idea of cold soup, we surely have plenty of fresh local ingredients to give them a try. Today’s gazpacho is a cold soup made of raw, blended vegetables. The soup originated in Spain and is widely eaten in that region, especially during the hot summers.
Fresh, cold gazpacho is an ideal way to taste the peak of summer without even turning on the hot stove. All of the best flavors, colors, and aromas of summer produce go into these recipes, and most are super filling and healthy. Here are a few simple recipes to give a try, it may take some convincing for your family to try at first, but soon they will enjoy the no-cook bowl of soup.
Super Simple Chilled Cream of Cucumber Soup
- 2 fresh cucumbers, peeled and seeded
- ½ cup buttermilk, cold
- ½ cup low-fat sour cream
- 2 ½ teaspoons white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon cilantro, finely chopped
- Coarsely puree cucumbers in a blender or food processor.
- Transfer to a metal bowl and whisk remaining ingredients and salt to taste.
- Cover bowl and chill 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve cold in chilled bowls.
Crabby Tomato Gazpacho
- 3 cups low-sodium vegetable juice
- 1 orange bell pepper
- 1 ½ cups celery, finely chopped, and ¼ cup celery leaves, divided
- 1 cup diced tomato
- 1/3 cup finely diced red onion
- 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon “Old Bay” seasoning
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups chopped cooked crab meat (or 2 cups chopped, peeled, cooked shrimp)
- Combine vegetable juice, bell pepper, celery, tomato, onion, vinegar, oil, Old Bay, pepper, and salt in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least two hours.
- Serves 6, top each serving of gazpacho with ½ cup cooked chopped crab, (or shrimp), garnish if desired with celery leaves or a stick.
Spicy Melon Gazpacho
- 1 medium cantaloupe, seeded and chopped
- 4 small fresh tomatoes, peeled and cored
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus additional for drizzling
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce, more or less if desired
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 small cucumber, finely diced
- ½ small red onion, finely diced
- Place the cantaloupe, tomatoes, and garlic in a blender. Blend until smooth.
- Continue blending, and slowly add the olive oil and vinegar until well combined.
- Chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
- Serve topped with diced cucumber and onion, and drizzle with olive oil.
Simple Summer Beet Gazpacho
- 4 medium-sized beets
- ½ large cucumber
- ½ avocado, scooped out of the skin
- ½ small red onion, peeled
- ¼ cup fresh packed cilantro
- ¼ cup fresh packed dill
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 cups vegetable stock, or more if you want the soup thinner
- 1-3 teaspoons Nectar, according to your taste
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Topping: chopped cucumber, red onion, avocado, cilantro, dill, and Greek yogurt
- Chop the top and bottoms off of the beets and add to a pot. Cover with cold water and cook over medium-high heat. Cook for about 40 minutes or until beets are tender. Cool the beets and peel off the skin.
- In a blender, add the beets, cucumber, avocado, red onion, cilantro, dill, garlic, vegetable stock, Nectar, salt, and black pepper. Blend on high until smooth, (I have used an immersion blender, and it works great). Add the additional stock here if you desire a thinner soup.
- Let chill for at least 4 hours or even overnight.
- Serve cold with toppings.
Heirloom Corn and Roasted Tomato Gazpacho
(Adapted from a Give It Some Thyme recipe)
- 4 cups fresh corn kernels, cut from about 3-4 ears
- 1 large yellow bell pepper, chopped
- ½ large sweet onion, peeled and chopped
- 2 large unpeeled garlic cloves
- 2 small chili peppers
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cups chopped yellow heirloom tomatoes (if you can find the heirlooms)
- ½ cup chopped fresh cucumber, peeled and seeded
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- Juice of 2 limes
- Salt and pepper
- 1-2 teaspoons hot sauce (I used Sriracha)
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Spread corn, bell pepper, onion, garlic, and chili peppers on the baking sheet. Drizzle about 3 tablespoons olive oil over the vegetables. Season with fresh ground pepper, to taste.
- Roast vegetables 20- 25 minutes, stirring halfway through the cook time. Remove from the oven. When cool enough to handle, peel garlic, and remove the charred skin and seeds from the chili peppers.
- Place half of the roasted vegetables and half of the chopped tomatoes and cucumbers in a blender. Add 1 ½ tablespoons of olive oil and vinegar. Squeeze in the juice of one lime. Puree until smooth, about 45 seconds (I have also used the immersion blender here). Transfer to a bowl.
- Repeat blending with remaining roasted vegetables, chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, olive oil, vinegar, and lime juice. Puree until smooth.
- Cover and chill at least 2 hours, overnight is best. Serve cool, and garnish with lime wedges, hot sauce, and fresh basil.
Fresh Fruit Gazpacho
- 6 cups cantaloupe, cut into chunks
- 1 tablespoon fresh mint, sliced in strips
- 1 cup strawberries, stemmed and quartered
- 1 peach, seeded and diced
- ½ cup blueberries
- ½ cup yogurt
- 1 tablespoon local honey
- Place cantaloupe chunks into a food processor and puree. In a large bowl, mix together the mint, strawberries, peach, and blueberries.
- In a separate bowl, combine the yogurt and honey.
- Evenly divide the cantaloupe puree into small bowls for serving, top with mixed fruit, and a drop of the honey yogurt sauce on top.