No-Hassle, No-Cook Gazpacho…
What do you do when it’s hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk and you are craving soup? The last thing you want to do is turn on the oven or spend more than 15 minutes in the kitchen. It’s time for gazpacho – a refreshing, healthy and delicious cold soup that originated in southern Spain.
Gazpacho really is more of a drink than a soup. Depending on the ingredients and how you make it, it’s a cross between a soup, a salsa and a smoothie. The first time I enjoyed gazpacho I called it “liquid salad.”
There are so many different ways to prepare gazpacho – based on region, chunkiness, vegetable-based, fruit-based and so on. But there is one universal truth of this delicious concoction: It is the perfect meal when it is just too darn hot to cook.
Gazpacho also takes advantage of the season because all the vegetables, fruits and herbs are fresh and abundant in the summer. No matter what type of gazpacho you desire, finding the ingredients in the produce section – or your backyard garden – should be a snap.
Not only is gazpacho easy to make, but it is also fun to say. Go ahead and let those three syllables roll out of your mouth: Guhz-PAH- chow. No one knows the exact origin of the word or what it means. Spain was controlled by the Ottoman Empire from the 8th and 15th century, so some scholars claim the word comes from an Arabic language. Some say the word derives from the Hebrew word Gazaz, which loosely translates to “break in little pieces.” Others believe it comes from the Latin word Caspa, which means “fragments or little pieces.”
Over the years, I have made cantaloupe gazpacho for an appetizer, a tomato gazpacho for a main course and a watermelon gazpacho for dessert. All are easy to make and perfect on these hot summer nights.
You can make gazpacho days in advance – in fact, if it sits in the fridge for a day or two, the flavors coalesce and it tastes even better!
On a blistering hot day, serve your family a refreshing gazpacho with sourdough bread. If you want to add some protein, arrange a few precooked shrimps on top of the bowl.
This recipe has zero fat and only 60 calories per serving! •
NO-HASSLE, NO-COOK GAZPACHO
Prep Time: 15 minutes Chilling Time: 30 minutes Total Time: 45 minutes
- 1 cup finely chopped English cucumber
- 1 cup finely chopped bell pepper (any color will do)
- 6 whole Roma tomatoes seeded and finely chopped
- 1⁄4 cup minced red onion
- 1 T minced jalapeño
- 1 large garlic clove minced
- 1⁄4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 T lime juice
- 2 T apple cider vinegar
- 1 T Worcestershire sauce
- 4 cups tomato juice
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. ground pepper
- 1 tsp. hot sauce
Step 1: In a large bowl, toss together the cucumber, bell pepper, tomato, onion, jalapeño, garlic and cilantro.
Step2: Add the lime juice, zest, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce and tomato juice to the bowl. Stir to combine.
Step 3: Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the hot sauce.
Step 4: Cover and chill for at least 30 minutes. (You can make this recipe up to three days in advance. Store in airtight container and refrigerate until ready to serve.)
Step 5: Serve chilled or at room temperature.