Summer Gazpacho

Cool off on a hot summer day with this refreshing Mediterranean soup that is chock full of summer vegetables:

Beyond great tastes, this soup may benefit your health! One study found that study volunteers who ate gazpacho twice a day for a week had decreased markers of oxidative stress and inflammation in their blood. And when Spanish researchers investigated gazpacho consumption as part of a larger study looking at preventing cardiovascular disease with a Mediterranean diet, they found that eating gazpacho was associated with lower blood pressure and reduced hypertension in people at high risk for heart disease. The researchers speculate that these health benefits were “probably due to synergy among several bioactive compounds present in the vegetable ingredients used to make the recipe.”

You can make this soup more hearty (and a light meal) by adding black beans (cooked, or canned and drained).

Ingredients

  • 2 large tomatoes*
  • 1 large cucumber, halved lengthwise*
  • 1 large fresh pepper (green, red, yellow or orange) seeded and halved*
  • 1 medium onion (sweet onion or red onion work best), peeled, halved*
  • 3 cups tomato juice*

* = divided use – you’ll puree about half of the above ingredients in a blender

  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • ¼ tsp. hot pepper sauce (e.g., Tabasco)
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper, or more to taste
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely minced

Instructions

  1. Coarsely chop half the cucumber, half the pepper, and half of the onion (big chunks, depending on the power of your blender to puree).
  2. In a blender, combine 1 tomato with the coarsely chopped veggies, and add 1 cup of the tomato juice. Puree at until well blended.
  3. Pour the puree into a large serving bowl and add the remaining 2 cups tomato juice, vinegar, oil, pepper sauce, pepper, and garlic.
  4. Chop the remaining cucumber, tomato,  peppers, and onion and add to the puree mixture.
  5. Refrigerate, covered, to allow the soup to chill and flavours to blend (if you store the tomato juice in the fridge you don’t need to refrigerate).

This soup looks wonderful accompanied by small bowls of garnishes to allow everyone to add their own. Here are some ideas: croutons, chopped onions, chopped peppers, chopped cucumbers, chopped chives, chopped tomatoes, or chopped fresh herbs.

Makes 6 generous 1-cup servings.

Nutrition per Serving

  • 80 calories
  • 2 g protein
  • 11 g carbohydrates
  • 3 g fat
  • 2 g fiber

Sheila Kealey is a health promotion consultant, writer, and athlete passionate about encouraging lifestyle habits that promote good health.  She has a Masters’ degree in Public Health and has collaborated on many research studies related to diet and health. Sheila cross country ski races with XC Ottawa, and also competes in triathlons and running races (5k’s are her favourite, but she has gone the distance once, running a 2:57 marathon).  Sheila loves developing healthy recipes, and sharing advice on nutrition, physical activity, sports science, and tasty nourishing foods. You can follow her on twitter, Instagram, or visit her website.