When it’s the middle of hot, hazy summer, sometimes the last thing I want to do is be chained to a sweltering stove. That’s what makes gazpacho, a chilled raw vegetable soup, so refreshing. This recipe for White Gazpacho, comes from Vegetarian Times‘ Farmers Market Cookbook 2011, a special edition of the magazine. To me, this calming soup tastes like a spa in a bowl; each bite makes me say, “Ahhhhh.”
Traditionally, gazpacho is a cold tomato-based soup from Spain, usually including olive oil, garlic and vinegar. In lieu of tomatoes, this quick and easy version incorporates juicy green grapes and cool cucumbers. Infusing a mild and subtle sweetness, the grapes and cucumbers pair perfectly with the pungent garlic, sweet onion, aromatic almonds and nutty olive oil. The acidity of the sherry vinegar, reminiscent of balsamic vinegar but more tart and less sweet, beautifully balances all of the sweetness. Be prepared to shell out $10 for a small bottle (holy shitballs!) but it’s worth it. You can use the rest of that bottle for vinaigrettes, stews, sauces and over veggies.
Every single one of the produce ingredients is in season right now, making it the perfect summer dish. So not only is this gazpacho easy on your kitchen and palate, it’s easy on Mother Earth too.
2 seedless cucumbers, peeled and chopped (about 4 cups)
1 3/4 cups green seedless grapes
3/4 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup Vidalia onion, chopped (any sweet onion will work)
1 garlic clove, peeled
1/4 cup almond milk
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup baby arugula
Salt to taste
1. Place the sliced almonds on a baking sheet in a 350 degree F oven. Toast until golden, approximately 3 minutes. When you can smell their inviting aroma, that usually means they’re done. Set aside.
2. In a food processor or blender, puree cucumbers, 1 1/2 cups of grapes, 1/2 cup toasted almonds, onion and garlic. Blend until smooth.
3. Add almond milk, sherry vinegar and olive oil. Blend until combined. Season with salt to taste.
4. Halve remaining grapes.
5. Pour soup into bowls. Garnish with halved grapes, rest of sliced almonds and arugula.