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Posts Tagged ‘jalapeño’

Ottolenghi’s Green Gazpacho

In Mindfulness, Nutrition, Recipe, Yoga on September 11, 2015 at 4:15 am
green gazpacho on grass

The greenest of green gazpachos

“Sometimes your only available transportation is a leap of faith.” ~Margaret Shepard

Last night I took a yoga class from one of my very favorite teachers and she prefaced her class by acknowledging that life throws you many twists and blind turns which require faith and surrender in order to find the flow in the midst of uncertainty. She promised us that all the weirdness was leading up to something. Of course, she was referring to the vinyasa flow she was about to subject us to but, at the same time, she was asking us to acknowledge this parallel to life.

It’s been three months since I’ve posted. This is not due to writing drafts and failing to publish (although I still have an embarrassing backlog). Creativity was a luxury that I could not afford recently with my energy going to more practical matters. I’m finally pulling out of that period but not without a significant (and somewhat permanent) rearrangement of my daily life and routines. Well, to be fair, this hasn’t happened quite yet but I am already preparing for it. I’ll reveal more as a I fully wrap my brain around it and accept that I cannot see the future of this blind turn.

green gazpacho ingredients

All this green goodness goes straight into your processor or blender.

A heat wave is scorching San Diego right now and since the weather is usually so darn perfect year-round, many of us don’t have air conditioning. We aren’t used to the weather affecting our lifestyles let alone even being a discussion topic. Needless to say, there is a lot of whining going on and very little cooking. Gazpacho is a nice change from constant salad consumption – you get your greens but you don’t have to chew them!

This cold soup recipe is perfect for people who don’t usually like gazpacho. No tomatoes mean no acidity and no lingering urge to eat it with tortilla chips. There is something oddly addictive about this soup from Chef Ottolenghi’s cookbook – Plenty More. You can’t find the recipe online, only the ingredients, but, since it’s a gazpacho, the instructions are pretty intuitive: put everything in a blender and push the ‘on’ button. I didn’t follow the ingredients list exactly and will indicate where I deviated below:

Serves 6 (at least!)

2 celery stalks (including leaves)

2 small green peppers, seeded

6 mini cucumbers, peeled (I used Persian so I didn’t peel)

1 green chile (I chose a large jalapeno)

4 garlic cloves

1 tsp sugar (I used brown)

1.5 cups walnuts, lightly toasted

Parsley and Basil: Original recipe indicates 2 TBSP of parsley but I love its fresh, cleansing taste so I added a large handful of parsley while completely eliminating the basil (1 cup). I like basil but I guess I like parsley more – you decide. Maybe next time I will do a handful of each herb.

4 TBSP balsamic vinegar (original recipe calls for sherry vinegar but I prefer the caramelized sweetness of balsamic and perhaps this is the source of the addiction)

1 cup olive oil

3 TBSP greek yogurt (full-fat)

1 cup water (Ottolenghi uses 2 cups and 9 ice cubes. I like the taste with only 1 cup water so I stopped diluting)

salt & pepper

green gazpacho on the beach

Seagulls love this gazpacho too!

Croutons: toss cubes of sourdough baguette with olive oil and salt and bake at 375 for about 10 mins. Ottolenghi also added 3 slices of sourdough bread to his gazpacho but I left bread for the toppings only.

Directions:

1. Cram EVERYTHING GREEN (and garlic) into your processor first (leafy stuff on bottom, chunks on top)

2. Run it until its get really liquid-y, adding the one cup of water, if needed

3. After the veggies are fully processed, add balsamic, sugar, olive oil, and yogurt

4. Last, add the toasted walnuts and pulse until the texture suits you.

I like this soup best at room temp or only slightly chilled. The flavors aren’t as nuanced straight out of the fridge and, the fats, olive oil and walnuts, are best at room temperature as well.

Recommended consumption: on the beach with an icy Rose´

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Watermelon-Jalapeño Gazpacho

In Nutrition, Recipe on September 6, 2013 at 12:12 am

watermelon gazpacho ingredientsThis sweet & spicy soup is nicely layered and nuanced with ingredients such as honey & ginger and mint & cucumber. I like savory, tomato-based, gazpachos but they also tend to be a bit acidic and dense. Using a lightly-sweet fruit as the main ingredient is so refreshing and hydrating during a heat wave. At my son’s request we planted mini, sugar watermelons in our garden along side the cucumbers. I fantasized about indulging in watermelon/cucumber recipes and juices all summer long. But, alas, we had very little sun this summer. The watermelon vine went rogue choking out the cucumber and producing very little fruit (we are still waiting for them to ripen). It’s finally hot and sunny so the weather is perfect for a sweet & spicy cold soup. Sadly, NONE of the ingredients came from my garden, but it’s delicious regardless.

I prefer to do as little chopping as possible, especially on a hot day, so I recommend using a food processor first and then transferring to a blender when you add the last ingredient, the watermelon. Or use a high-speed blender, like a Vitamix, for everything.

watermelon gazapachoTo begin: Throw all ingredients EXCEPT WATERMELON into food processor or high speed blender and puree until everything is itty-bitty shreds. Next: Add watermelon (if not using a Vitamix, this is the time to switch from processor to blender or your soup will be all over the counter – I’ve done this many times!) and pulse a few times. I like the watermelon to be slightly chunkier than the other ingredients for a nice texture contrast.

Taste it to see if it needs an adjustment but I don’t recommend adding more ginger and jalapeño. This soup gets yummier and spicier over time! Chill for at least an hour to allow the flavors to marry.

Ingredients (4-6 servings):

8 cups watermelon, or about 1/2 of a mini watermelon

1 cucumber, peeled and roughly chopped into big chunks

1 red bell peppers, big chunks

1 small onion, quartered

1/2 -1 small jalapeño pepper, w/ or w/out seeds depending on your ability to take the heat!

1/4 cup lemon, juiced

1 TBSP olive oil

1/4 cup fresh mint leaves

1 piece of fresh ginger, about thumb-sized

1-2 TBSP  honey