Gazpacho

A Spanish style cold soup perfect for a hot summer day. While purest will say you have to use fresh tomatoes, I have been coming around to the notions that when it comes to fruits, such as tomatoes, and vegetables, canned and frozen may be a better option. For starters, unless you are buying your produce at a farmer’s market, the produce you get at grocery stores is not fresh. For example, apples you buy today were harvested months ago and kept in a nitrogen chamber. Potatoes you buy today could have been harvested up to a year ago.

However, frozen and canned produced was processed at peak ripeness and put in the can or frozen right after harvest. Anyone who’s ever had a garden knows how much better produce is right off the plant. So if you want the best tasting tomatoes, they are in a can. If you want the best tasting vegetables, they are frozen. The pros to canned and frozen are that they are already chopped, peeled and ready for use. The con is that for some dishes they don’t plate as well as fresh and for some styles of preparation, like roasted they are not as hearty as fresh. So both fresh and frozen/canned have their place and it’s up for you to decide. My advise on getting the frozen/canned is to make sure the producer did not add anything you don’t what, like sugar.

Keto friendly: even though it has a tsp of sugar. I would not recommend substituting imitation sweetener for the sugar. When cooking with tomatoes, sugar is added to counter the acids in the tomato and I don’t feel that imitation sweeteners do that as well. Take comfort in that its only a teaspoon of sugar in a big batch of healthy soup.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups tomato juice
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeds removed and chopped
  • 1 cucumber, seeds removed and chopped
  • 2 cups chopped tomatoes (canned may be better)
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • ΒΌ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1 dash salt and pepper to taste

Process

  1. Mise en Place – Prepare your ingredients, which doesn’t require much of this soup. Since everything is being blended, you don’t have to chop or dice your produce too small. It’s your call on removing the cucumber seeds, but it makes the soup smoother.
  2. In a blender or food processor, combine all the ingredients.
  3. Blend until well-combined but still slightly chunky.
  4. Chill at least 2 hours before serving.