When the weather turns too hot to turn on the stove or even fire up the grill I become more of a raw foodist than I ever really intended. Because summer’s bounties include ripe tomatoes, fragrant cucumbers, juicy red peppers, and fresh herbs bursting with flavor, I turn my attention to cleansing salads and soups. The problem with soups is they generally must be served hot. Thank God for the Spanish who invented gazpacho.
I fell in love with gazpacho in Andalucia as a young girl. I nearly choked to death on a gazpacho “amuse bouche” which had a hidden crouton. I was knocked on my butt more than once at various tapas bars whose recipes are as varied as the regions they represent as are the flavors. Many a Spanish grandmother would go to her grave rather than give up her treasured family secret recipe.
Gazpacho is basically a vegetable smoothie in a bowl if you purée it smooth, and a chunky salad soup if you leave it with bits. Either way it is the most delicious summer soup that is as versatile as it is flavorful and healthy. I am going to show you three different variations to begin. They are so simple to throw together you will be tempted to make this for every lunch and appetizer all summer long!
The first recipe is our Classic Raw Gazpacho Recipe. It is the most basic yet most authentic Andalucian recipe. A perfect lunch for those looking for a cleansing, cooling, and nutrient dense way to beat the heat, it also makes an amazing appetizer to a dinner from the grill.
For a heartier soup try our Avocado Gazpacho which combines the more traditional gazpacho with a little lime, cilantro, and avocado for a guacamole twist on the classic recipe.
Off the beaten bath is the best way to describe our Watermelon Avocado Gazpacho which combines the sweetness of summer watermelon with the creaminess of avocado and a few surprise ingredients which add dimension and heft to a soup that, in my opinion, makes a perfect light dinner when served with a crusty homemade bread.0