If it’s as hot where you are as it is here, then we’re both in no mind for soup. In fact, I recently turned one of my favorite soup recipes into a summer-friendly salad, with great results.
Soup-wise, I do love a good bowl of gazpacho (including my garbage gazpacho, which I make with whatever fresh farmers’ market veggies I have lying around). Before I dive into bowls of the traditional tomato/cucumber/garlic/jalapeno variety, I wanted to try something new. A recipe in the July issue of Food and Wine caught my eye: white gazpacho.
Apparently, the cucumber/almond/bread/grapes combo called for in this white gazpacho is just as traditional as the tomato variation. The two soups couldn’t be more different, though (aside from, you know, being served cold). White gazpacho is cool, smooth and bright, with more flavor than a basic chilled cucumber soup. I tinkered with the F&W recipe quite a bit; the original called for buttermilk, but I find store-bought buttermilk to be goopy and rather odd-tasting. So instead, I whisked together equal parts of nonfat Greek yogurt and low-fat milk and was quite happy with the flavor.
Make this. Stay cool.
white gazpacho recipe
1 cup of bread cubes, cut from stale white bread or a baguette with the crusts removed
1 cup vegetable broth (I prefer Rapunzel brand vegetable broth cubes with sea salt and herbs)
1 cup blanched sliced almonds, toasted (see Note)
1 1/2 cups peeled, seeded and chopped cucumber
1 green apple, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 cup seedless green grapes
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/4 cup good olive oil (plus more for serving)
1/2 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
1/2 cup milk
1–2 Tbsp. sherry or champagne vinegar
salt and pepper (white pepper, if you have it)
garnishes (see below)
Note: I keep a bag of Trader Joe’s dry-toasted sliced almonds in the freezer; they’re incredibly handy. If you don’t find toasted sliced almonds, then spread 1 cup of blanched, sliced almonds in the bottom of a dry skillet; place over medium heat and toast, stirring often and watching carefully, until the almonds are lightly golden and fragrant.
In a small bowl, place the bread cubes; pour the vegetable broth over and let sit while you peel/chop/prep the rest of the ingredients. In another small bowl, whisk together the milk and Greek yogurt until perfectly smooth.
Transfer bread cubes and any remaining broth, the almonds, chopped cucumber, apple, grapes, garlic and olive oil to a blender. Puree until very smooth. Place a strainer over a large bowl and pour the soup through, pressing firmly on the solids to extract as much liquid and flavor as possible. (I found that I had about 1 cup of solids left in the strainer, so I ran that back through the blender and again through the strainer to get as much liquid as I could.) Whisk in the yogurt mixture and 1 Tbsp. vinegar; add 1/4 tsp. of table salt and a pinch of pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding a splash more vinegar if you want more tartness.
- snipped fresh chives
- thyme leaves and flowers
- nasturtium flowers
- drizzle of olive oil
- teeny, tiny dice of cucumber
- a sprinkling of toasted sliced almonds
- very fine, toasted breadcrumbs