The heat of summer is not far around the bend here in Florida and kitchen thoughts are gravitating toward cooler and lighter menus to match the hot days. Long a fan of chilled soups, I managed the loan of a new soup cookbook on Sunday, one including a handful of cold soup recipes. Perfect timing and just what’s needed to add a couple of new flavors to the summer table. It comes with an extra bonus in the form of recipes with all natural ingredients, each presented with beautiful photographs and a complete nutritional breakdown. All the soups are easy and fast to make without requiring a bagful of expensive ingredients and hours over the stove. The book is Andrew’s Favorite Soups for Wellness and Weight-Loss and it’s by Muriel Angot with Andrew Lessman. It’s available at HSN.com.
The soup recipes are all characterized by originality and flavors off the beaten path. Here are a few examples: Roasted red, yellow and orange pepper soup, carrot, ginger, turmeric and coconut soup, butternut squash soup with apple and curry, coral lentil soup with cinnamon and cumin, hearty turkey chili, green curry Thai soup with shrimp. Because it’s a favorite of mine, and one I haven’t made in a long time, I decided to make the Gazpacho Andaluz “New-Style” Soup.
Gazpacho is a cold based raw vegetable soup that originated in the region of Andalusia in southern Spain, one served mostly during the summer months for its refreshing qualities. It has always been popular with field workers as a way of cooling off during summer, and of using the available fresh vegetables and fruit. There are many modern variations of gazpacho, and from the “new-style” in its name, I suspect that the recipe below falls into that category.
GAZPACHO ANDALUZ “NEW-STYLE” SOUP
4 ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and cut into pieces
3 garlic cloves
1 medium orange pepper, chopped
1½ medium red pepper, chopped (reserve ½ for garnish)
1½ medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, chopped (reserve ½ for garnish)
½ small cantaloupe or ¼ watermelon cut in pieces and seeded
½ small red onion, chopped (reserve for garnish)
1 tsp tomato concentrate (tomato paste)
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
croutons for garnish
Spear the tomatoes (one at a time) and hold them in boiling water for a minute or two until the skin loosens and can be easily pulled off. Put the tomato in a food processor with the garlic, peppers, cucumber and melon. Blend at lowest speed until smooth. Add tomato concentrate (paste), olive oil, vinegar, and salt and pepper. Process until thoroughly mixed. Pour into a large bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, but not more than 10 hours. Serve garnished with chopped onion, cucumber and red pepper, and three or four croutons.
This recipe makes 10 cups. A one-cup serving is only ninety calories and a nutritional bombshell. Obviously, if served at dinner the soup is going to be too little for a filling meal. I serve it with a green salad sprinkled with shreds of roasted chicken. This makes a delicious and filling meal. Bon Appétit!