green gazpacho

Gazpacho, a Spanish word, typically means a cold soup with vegetables. The original version consisted of veggies pounded with bread, garlic (a must!), olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper, which was then thinned with water.  Gazpacho with tomatoes is relatively new, believe it or not.  Here I’ve used lemon and/or lime instead of vinegar, and saved tomatoes to slice and plate with fresh mozzarella.

Where are all the greens coming from?  Perhaps like me, you have greens in your garden that you either didn’t thin, or which are growing so quickly they’re beginning to bolt and flower.  This recipe means “Waste not, want not!” It also helps us detox, because that’s one of the things greens, garlic, herbs and lemon do.  Don’t have a garden?  Support our local farmers.  Buy organic produce directly from them or in our store.  You’ll love the green in summertime….

Serves 4

2-3 C cukes, cut into 2-inch pieces 1 C water
4 cloves garlic 1 ripe Hass avocado
1 C fresh cilantro or basil leaves, or combo 2 Tbsp pine nuts or cashews, optional
4 Tbsp fresh parsley, optional* 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
2 Tbsp fresh mint, optional* 1-2 C onion, cut into 2-inch pieces
4 cups shredded greens such as lettuce, spinach, bok choy, kale… 1½  tsp good salt like Celtic or Himalayan
1 tsp black pepper or pinch cayenne scant ½ C fresh lemon or lime juice
POSSIBLE GARNISHES: chopped salad, diced mango, pine nuts or chopped cashews, crumbled tortilla chips, shredded lettuce, cubed tofu, baby shrimp.

In a food processor, pulse cucumbers, garlic, herbs and greens with salt and pepper until coarse. Then with the machine running, add lemon or lime juice, water, avocado, pine nuts or cashews and EVOO.  (You don’t have to use nuts, but they will make this gazpacho creamier and add richness.)

When the gazpacho is the consistency you like, add onion and pulse 10 times.  I like my gazpacho with some texture, and the onions coarsely chopped – I like their crunch.  Transfer gazpacho to a bowl. Cover and refrigerate 4 hours, or until well chilled.  To serve, divide among 4 bowls, and garnish each with whatever you choose, or don’t garnish at all.  Finish with another drizzle of EVOO.

*There are fresh herbs everywhere at this time of year.  Add a pinch of this, a pinch of that.  If you have parsley that needs using up, use more parsley.  Don’t like cilantro? Well, then, use only basil.  And if you need fresh mint, give me a holler because I have a ton in my garden and it spreads like crazy.