ready for summer ::::
My habit of sugar intake is usually in small quantities. I know it adds up (sugar in the morning tea, honey in the salad dressing, sugar in the sauce coating the chicken) not just in the obvious ways of an occasional dessert gorge.
Yet every little bit affects me considerably right now. Still in the thick of gestational diabetes, I am constantly trying to come up with more dishes I can eat without spiking my blood sugar. Gone are my balsamic-honey dressings for my kale salads. Forget the homemade lemonade. Carbohydrates raise blood sugar, so choosing the right foods is paramount in managing blood glucose. Carbs can be in almost anything: bread, cereal, rice, and crackers; fruit and juice; beans; starchy vegetables like potatoes and corn; and, obviously, sweets like sodas, cake, cookies, candy, and chips. Non-starchy vegetables like those used for gazpacho ingredients are usually pretty low.
Even before my diabetes, I was a gazpacho lover. It’s surprising that I haven’t ventured into a recipe yet seeing as I live in Northern Cal, one of the best places on earth for fresh produce at any time of year. Raw vegetables such as tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and onions don’t have a high level of carbohydrates so they are pretty free on my menu currently. Despite the fact that I just planted four tomato plants in our garden this year, I couldn’t wait for the crop to come in this summer before I made this. I cheated: I used store-bought tomato puree for this recipe.
I don’t remember my first gazpacho experience, but I do remember thinking serving a savory soup cold rather than hot seemed odd. This gazpacho recipe is pretty standard: tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, onions, seasoning. There is another white gazpacho that I tried which is just about the best I’ve ever had. Hats off to Top Chef winner Stephanie Izard for that recipe. I’m sad that we moved out of Chicago before we could try one of her restaurants. I’ll have to highlight that recipe another time (once I figure out how to count the carbs in it — there is a little bread in the soup mixture).
And yet again, like my pickled daikon and carrots, Peach and Grub actually liked this gazpacho. I feel like I’m living in a Bizarro World with their open vegetable consumption lately. As long as it distracts them from their never-ending quest for more sweets, I’ll make as much as they want. Enjoy this soup on a hot summer day. Happy Memorial Day weekend — this may be a great soup to eat when spending time with family.
One year ago: chawanmushi
Two years ago: tamarind cooler
- 2 cups good-quality tomato puree (Pomi is excellent)
- 2 cups cucumber, chopped
- 1 cup chopped red bell pepper
- 1 cup chopped red onion
- 1 small jalapeno, seeded and minced
- 1 medium garlic clove, minced
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 limes or 1 large lemon, juiced
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon toasted, ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, in chiffonade if large, or use the smaller leaves whole
- Put the tomato juice in a large bowl, mixing in the cucumber, bell pepper, red onion, jalapeno, garlic clove, olive oil, lime/lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Reserve a few tablespoons of the cucumber, pepper, and red onion to garnish for later.
- Transfer about half of the mixture to a blender/food processor and puree well on high speed (or pulse if you want your gazpacho to be more chunky). Return the mixture to the bowl and stir to combine. Cover and chill for 2 hours and up to overnight. Serve with basil and garnish with reserved cucumbers, peppers, and red onion.
- Serves 4.