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Recipe: Green gazpacho is a cross between the best smoothie you ever made and a great guac

Green gazpacho with cucumbers, spinach, and avocado
Green gazpacho with cucumbers, spinach, and avocado(Sheryl Julian for The Boston Globe)

Serves 6

Classic Spanish gazpacho is traditionally made with tomatoes, bread, olive oil, and garlic.  Here, a bounty of green vegetables and herbs — spinach, cucumber, bell pepper, avocado, chile pepper, basil, parsley, and mint — make a bright green soup that needs no cooking. Think of it as a cross between the best green smoothie you ever made with touches of a great guac. Mix day-old bread with yogurt, olive oil, and lime juice to soften it (leave the bread out to dry before you do this or put it in a low oven for 10 minutes).  The recipe calls for half a chile but adjust the spiciness, if you like, and add the other half or add the seeds, which contribute heat. To produce soup with a smooth consistency, blend the ingredients in batches with a little of the liquid, then add additional liquid to thin it as needed.  Chill gazpacho thoroughly, and taste again when cold; and add more salt if it needs some.

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2slices firm white bread, left out to dry, crusts removed, torn in pieces
cup plain yogurt
3tablespoons olive oil
2tablespoons lime juice
4cups fresh spinach, tough stems removed
1large slicing cucumber, halved lengthwise, seeded, and chopped
½green bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
1ripe avocado, halved, pitted and peeled
½jalapeno or other small green chile, seeded
¼cup chopped fresh basil
¼cup chopped fresh parsley
¼cup chopped fresh mint
1clove garlic, finely chopped
cups water, or more if needed
Salt and black pepper, to taste
Extra olive oil (for sprinkling)
2scallions, thinly sliced (for garnish)
1lime, cut into 6 wedges (for serving)

1. In a bowl, combine the bread, yogurt, olive oil, and lime juice. Mash until the bread is softened.

2. In a food processor, combine the spinach, cucumber, bell pepper, avocado, jalapeno or other chile, basil, parsley, mint, garlic, bread mixture, ¾ cup of the water, salt, and black pepper. Pulse until the mixture is well blended, scraping down the sides of the work bowl as necessary.

3. Add the additional ¾ cup water and continue to pulse until incorporated.  Add more water, ¼ cup at a time, if you like. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and black pepper, if you like.

4. Transfer to a plastic container and chill thoroughly.

5. Ladle into bowls, sprinkle with olive oil and scallions. Serve with lime. Jill Gibson


Jill Gibson can be reached at jrgibson22@gmail.com.

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