Gazpacho – Chilled Tomato Cucumber Soup

by Sally on July 25, 2011 · 8 comments

in Appetizers & Snacks, Gluten-free, Side Dishes, Soups, Stews and Chiles, The Daniel Plan, Vegan Dishes, Vegetarian Dishes

Take the edge off of summer’s heat with a chilled, refreshing bowl of gazpacho – a vibrantly colored and flavored, chilled tomato and cucumber soup. Serve it garnished with cooked shrimp, avocado slices and a sprinkle of Tajin, an amazing chili-lime seasoning blend. A batch keeps in the fridge for days.

Cool, Refreshing, Healthy

I used to keep a big jar of gazpacho in the fridge all summer long and eat it every day. It’s a great snack, lunch, appetizer or side dish. Having forgotten about gazpacho for years, I’m going back to my own tradition.

How could anyone not like gazpacho? Yet many of my clients shake their heads when I ask about chilled soups. It could only be because they have never tried it.  Refreshing, cool and healthy, it’s fantastic for hot weather and the perfect use for fresh peak-of-the-season summer produce, like colorful, organic heirloom tomatoes.

Serve gazpacho in bowls for lunch or a snack. Pair it with grilled chicken or shrimp for dinner. Team it up with a quesadilla. Pour it into shot glasses and serve gazpacho shooters as an appetizer. Gazpacho can be enjoyed many ways.

Almost No Cooking – Just Prep Work

This recipe has some prep work, but no cooking (ok, one hard-boiled egg, that’s not really cooking). The hard-boiled egg and bread crumbs give the soup body and the chicken broth (or vegetable broth) adds more richness than water.

Many gazpacho recipes use canned tomato juice as the liquid base, but most brands are very high in sodium.  I use no-salt-added organic tomato sauce and homemade, no-salt chicken broth (or vegetable broth).

While the egg and chicken broth may not be traditional, bread or breadcrumbs are used in many authentic recipes I’ve seen. Sweet bell peppers are also a traditional component. If you like sweet peppers, add some red or yellow diced peppers to your vegetable mix. I leave them out because my husband can’t stand them (I love them).

Special Diet Tips

Puree in a Blender

Once mixed, smooth the gazpacho out in a blender or food processor to the texture you prefer. I use a Vita-Mix blender, because of the large capacity and power. Chill for about 4 hours or overnight and enjoy. You will need to puree in two batches.

A note on inspiration. Originally I used a recipe from Elizabeth Shephard called Mom’s Gazpacho on the Epicurious website. I’ve changed the recipe so much over the years that I call it my own now, but it was her recipe that gave me the idea to use the hardboiled egg and breadcrumbs for body.

Gazpacho – Chilled Tomato Cucumber Soup

This recipe makes a good amount of soup. It keeps in the fridge for five days so you can keep enjoying its cool refreshment in hot weather. For a vegetarian version substitute vegetable broth. For vegan, use vegetable broth and skip the egg. Make homemade for the best results. Serve chunky or pureed, depending on your preference. If you like the flavors of chili and lime, Tajin is available on Amazon. You will find lots of uses for it. To make this gluten-free, use g-free breadcrumbs. Make your own. It’s easy.

Yield: Full recipe – 2 ½ quarts (2 1/3 liters)

Note – Shooters take 2 ounces (60 ml) each and bowls about 8-12 ounces (237-355 ml) each, so servings will vary depending on use

Ingredients           

  • 2 ½ pounds (1.14 kilos) tomatoes (Roma, heirloom, regular)
  • 1 hardboiled egg, peeled
  • 3 small Persian cucumbers or 1 large English seedless cucumber
  • 2 large garlic cloves, chopped or minced fine
  • ¼ cup finely diced red onion
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 6 tablespoons (90 ml) sherry, red wine vinegar, or Braggs cider vinegar
  • 24 ounces (700 ml) low sodium chicken or vegetable broth (preferably homemade)
  • 15 ounces (450 ml) organic tomato sauce
  • ¾ cup (50 grams) plain gluten-free breadcrumbs (preferably homemade – optional)
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill or oregano
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
  • ¼ teaspoon ground chipotle powder, to taste (use more if you like heat)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper

Tajin chili-lime spice blend (optional) as garnish and can be used to season the soup

Optional garnishes – cooked shrimp, avocado slices, lime wedges, cucumber slices, chopped cilantro or parsley, Tajin spice blend

Directions           

  1. Prep the tomatoes. Core, quarter and squeeze out extra seeds, then chop.  For the cucumbers, cut them into quarters lengthwise, slice out the seedy centers, then chop. Add the tomatoes and cucumbers to a bowl as you go. Chop the hard boiled egg, and add to the bowl with all of the other ingredients. Stir to combine.
  2. Ladle half of the tomato-cucumber mixture into the Vitamix or blender and puree over medium speed to control the texture (smoothness). Repeat wtih the second half. Diong it in two batches adds control and you won’t over fill or over flow the container.
  3. Chill at least 4 hours or overnight for flavors to blend. For a chunkier soup, pulse, don’t blend, until you reach your preferred consistency.

Soup will keep five days in the refrigerator.

Other helpful links:

For power and capacity, I use a Vita-Mix blender. They are the best. And while they are an investment, mine is more than 15 years old and going strong. Order one hereget free shipping. Check the ad on my home page and look at the reconditioned models. They have been used for demos at shows, then cleaned up and sold for a big savings.

How to make vegetable stock

Homemade chicken broth

How to make homemade breadcrumbs

How to hard boil perfect eggs

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