Soup for hot days. I have always loved a gazpacho, it reminds me of long hot summer holidays spent as a child in France, we used to drink the stuff by the gallon with a delicious baguette and a creamy wedge of local camembert.
Always a refreshing and nourishing little number for hot and steamy days, which we have been experiencing this last couple of months in Sydney. I find the secret to a good gazpacho is the freshest veggies; incredible vine ripe tomatoes; add a small punnet of sweet cherry tomatoes too, little lebanese cucumbers are my favourite as they are slightly sweeter and good red pepper and garlic. Thats all you need to make a smashing starter to a dinner party or light lunch, served with a couple of crackers and cheese. I decided not to add stale bread which is the normal recipe. I like to keep this gazpacho gluten free.
I picked up all of mine this week from the local farmers markets. When I am making a cold soup like this one I love to chose organic, the farmers markets always manages to be about a third of the price to the supermarket bought stuff. So perhaps next weekend venture out and get your green goodies.
This soup has tremendous nutritional benefits which are abundant. So get making and get slurping it, freeze for a later date. I know you will love it.
I dolloped the gazpacho with some homemade pesto to give it a slight lift (highly recommended) so that recipe has been included below as well.
Why is gazpacho good for you:
Tomatoes have a high levels of lycopene which is a carotenoid, this is a powerful antioxidant in tomatoes and is responsible for their red colour. lycopene is a wonder chemical which when absorbed into the body, helps to prevent and also repair damaged cells by inactivating free radicals in the body. The jelly like substance around the seeds in tomatoes contains salicyates, which have an anti-clotting effect on the blood. According to this wonderful book, it has thus been credited for reducing wrinkles. This could be due to the high levels of vitamin C a tomato contains.
Capsicum did you know that a capsicum in its raw state contains the highest level of vitamin c in any vegetable. So great for immunity as well as heart health. Good doses of vitamin C protect help protects our bones, teeth, hair and skin. They contain a handful on antioxidants which can help improve degeneration of your peepers.
Raw garlic is antibacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral, it can help increase our immune function. It also contains selenium which is a trace mineral, this is great for healthy liver function (can act as detoxifier).
Cucumber is not only great for your skin due to them containing silica, but brilliant for people who might suffer from excessive sweating. They also are a good source of vitamin C.
Hope you enjoy this one.