We’re in the middle of some unseasonably hot weather in San Francisco right now (90!), the kind that calls for food that refreshes and doesn’t require a lot of heat. It’s for this kind of weather that I decided to include gazpacho in my latest healthy cooking event, a talk and cooking demo called “Food Is Your Medicine!” a few days ago at the San Carlos Library. I was surprised and pleased by the tremendous turnout– 100 people who came to learn about healthy eating, and to learn how to prepare Spring produce. Thank you all!
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Gazpacho is a classic Spanish tomato-based cold soup which dates back to ancient times. You can think of it as a blended salad. It’s refreshing on a hot day and comes together in minutes. It was originally a peasant food and a good way to use up leftover bread and vegetables. The vinegar and garlic add a lot of flavor with minimal added salt. This is meant to be a thick soup—if it is too thick to blend, add a bit of water, not tomato juice, which is a commonly made error.
Yield: 4 servings
Time: 10 minutes
2 pounds ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 medium red bell pepper, roughly chopped
½ medium cucumber, peeled and roughly chopped
½ red onion, roughly chopped
⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 ½-inch slice white bread, torn into 1-inch pieces
3 tablespoons sherry or red wine vinegar
1 medium fresh jalapeño, seeded and roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves
1/2 tsp Salt and black pepper to taste
1. Reserving a few tablespoons of each vegetable for garnish, put the tomatoes, bell pepper, cucumber, onion, olive oil, bread, vinegar, jalapeño, and garlic in a blender; season with salt and pepper. Process until smooth, adding up to ½ cup water if necessary. (Work in batches if not all the ingredients fit in your blender at once.)
2. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Refrigerate for up to a few hours before serving or serve immediately, garnishing with the reserved diced vegetables and a swirl of olive oil, if desired.
Calories 248, carbohydrates 19g, fat 19g, protein 4g, sodium 218 mg, sugar 9 g
Variation: for another refreshing take on gazpacho, try this watermelon version (and enjoy the story behind its tasty inspiration, too)
Thanks for coming by! Do you have other favorite versions of gazpacho or other cold soups? If so, please share in the comments!
And if you’re in the San Francisco Bay Area and are interested in learning about how to cook food that is foremost delicious and comes with the added benefit of being healthy, please consider enrolling in one of my upcoming hands-on classes! The next one is on 5/14: “Better Than Chinese Takeout” and is open for registration now.
For the full schedule, please visit The Doctor’s Spicebox on Facebook (and feel free to share the “Like” while you’re there!)
To your health!