Mellow Yellow Gazpacho
Of course the Spanish have been making turbo charged superfood smoothies for centuries, its just that classic Gazpacho made in summer from sun ripened vegetables in sleepy Andalucian villages seems less headline grabbing than kale, spirulina and avocado smoothies made by people practicing yoga poses before breakfast in California. I joke of course……I love my kale smoothies……
“Gazpacho is indeed one of “the” dishes of summer. On a sweltering day in those whitewashed hilltop towns sipping a glass of this salady gloop saves a great deal of energy. No need to sweat cutting up a salad and chewing through vegetables and your other hand is free to hold a glass of something very cold indeed – preferably a Manzanilla or Fino. If those delectable drinks are not to hand then because a good gazpacho is fairly sweet (and don’t please even think about making this recipe with anything other than over ripe probably splitting in their skins sun ripened tomatoes) then a fruity ripe white or rosé is best. I’ve been enjoying with the Catleya Rosé and the Caloian White (yes) Zinfandel.
In this “mellow yellow” version the tomatoes used are yellow ones which makes for a showstopper iridescent blast of colour whether you serve in regular serving sizes (I like to serve in wine glasses or nice tumblers with a drizzle of something on top) or as pictured here in little shot glasses with a blob of pesto in the centre for a party. This is one of those recipes where the quantities are for guidance. If you see good things in the market that are screaming at you “we are ripe” then scoop them up and use them! Your gazpacho will taste infinitely better than following recipe quantities slavishly with not quite ripe ingredients.
You Are What You Eat
Tomatoes contain all four major carotenoids: alpha- and beta-carotene, lutein, and lycopene which apparently are even better for you in a group than individually. They contain inordinate amounts of the king of carotenoids “lycopene”thought to have the highest antioxidant activity of all. So far so good… add to this mix the raw onions and you can weep for joy because those tear jerking sulphur compounds ensure that your blood clots less easily and contains less cholesterol and triglycerides. The olive oil and all that oleic acid just further makes this a shot of something very very good indeed.
Gadgets & Gizmos
A blender or stick blender. A strong sieve or food mill (“mouli”) if you want the gazpacho without seeds and skin. (However the highest concentration of the carotenoids found in tomatoes is found in the skin, a good reason not to over process the soup and not to peel your tomatoes! I never bother unless making Salmorejo for a dinner party)
(serves 4 large glasses and 20 shots)
100g slightly stale good crusty white bread, soaked in cold water for 20 mins (paine alb vechi) (this emulsifies the soup. do not use cheap bread as it creates a slimy consistency)
1kg very ripe yellow tomatoes, with the stalk and tough parts cut out (rosii galben)
1 medium cucumber, peeled or 4 small cucumbers (castraveti)
1 sweet onion preferably white but red onions are also great (ceapa galbena)
2 cloves of garlic (usturoi)
100ml extra virgin olive oil (ulei de masline)
Salt, and freshly ground pepper to taste
If your tomatoes are not really ripe (and you shouldnt be making this if that is the case) then ading 1 tsp of organic veggie stock is good. I like the Swiss “Marigold” brand. Other good additions are celery and parsley root or celeriac.
Chop up the vegetables roughly.
Put all the ingredients in the blender and process until smooth.
If you want to, pass the mixture through a fine sieve or food mill.
Serve dribbled with olive oil, with pesto, with “leustean” leaves (lovage) or even crispy Serrano ham.
- 100g slightly stale good crusty white bread, soaked in cold water for 20 mins (this emulsifies the soup. do not use cheap bread as it creates a slimy consistency)
- 1kg very ripe yellow tomatoes, with the stalk and tough parts cut out
- 1 medium cucumber, peeled or 4 small cucumbers
- 1 sweet onion preferably white
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 100ml extra virgin olive oil
- Salt, and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Sometimes I add 1 tsp of organic veggie stock - I like the Swiss "Marigold" brand. Other good additions are celery, parsley root or celeriac.
- Chop up the vegetables roughly.
- Put all the ingredients in the blender and process until smooth.
- If you want to, pass the mixture through a fine sieve or food mill.
- Serve dribbled with olive oil, with pesto, with “leustean” leaves (lovage) or even crispy Serrano ham.
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