There are three reasons I don’t usually order soup in restaurants.
1) It’s not usually vegetarian. Even the vegetable soups often have chicken broth.
2) I usually doubt that it’s made in-house from scratch, or is even that good. I used to work at a little cafe where we would actually do that. No opening bags of condensed stuff and adding water. We roasted the carrots and squash, caramelized the onions for hours, diced, and chopped and simmered. My favorite part was adding booze if the recipe called for it; my boss frequently told me to sloooow dooown… but our soups were bomb-diggity. Yeah. Bomb. Diggity.
3) And most importantly: I live in sub-tropical climate. Most of the year it feels like we actually live in soup.
But sometimes… I just want something soupy. I dunno why. Just do. I guess someone in ancient history felt the same way, because they invented gazpacho.
We know gazpacho best as a cold tomato soup from Spain. It’s not quite like that, but basically, that’s what it is. Gazpacho is not usually cooked and then chilled. It’s typically just a blend of raw vegetables and fruits, amped up with spices, vinegar, oil, and often bread crumbs for texture and thickness. And besides the tomato version, there’s a lot of variety these days. Gazpacho can have ingredients like grapes, cucumber, watermelon, mango, nuts, yogurt, and all sorts of herbs and spices. And if you go to Spain, different regions will have different conceptions of gazpacho.
I like to think of gazpacho as blended salad rather than soup. I figure whatever would have come together on my fork can usually come together in the blender. For example…
So I threw all that in a blender, except the zucchini (and of course minus the avocado seed and skin). I started blending, and added some vegetable stock to help it along. Then I gradually added the zucchini once the others were blended.
Then came the spinach.
A squirt of mustard too. And some lemon juice.
Let’s skip ahead…
Creamy Green Gazpacho. A different, more refreshing way to get your greens. And a good way to experiment with different ingredients. You can use different vegetables, different spices, add flavored vinegar, nuts, seeds, bread crumbs, etc. I highly recommend the avocado being in there for that awesome creaminess, and also because you don’t have to add any oil, but you still get some healthy fat in there. Regardless, just go nuts. Pick your players, throw them in, and add soup stock or water as necessary. Skip the bowl and eat straight from the blender.