Who says tomatoes should have all the fun?
As previously noted, I love making cold soups with cucumbers. Cucumber has such a nice, refreshing taste – it’s almost like water in produce form! I’m also absolutely crazy for white grapes. I like them a bit more than red grapes because they’re a bit more tart, and I love tart. Plus, they’re such a pretty green color!
So you can bet that when I found this recipe for White Gazpacho from Vegetarian Times, I was dancing in my livingroom. The soup looked refreshing, seemed easy to prepare, featured ingredients commonly found in my kitchen, and most importantly, looked REALLY TASTY!
To start, I sliced up one medium cucumber. I personally love cucumber skin and don’t really understand why cucumber soup recipes tell you to remove it. Maybe it’s just a personal preference, but I’d rather leave on the skin (and the vitamins that come with it) than strip down the cukes! You can remove the skin if you like though, as they instruct. I then added the white grapes, slivered almonds (which I bought raw and just toasted briefly in a skillet on medium heat), garlic (I used one smallish clove even though I halved the recipe, so this soup lends itself to a higher garlic content if you so please), and red onion.
Now, the recipe calls for a sweet onion, but all I had was a red onion. I actually recommend using the red onion in place of the sweet onion because the intense onion flavor combined with the grapes was absolutely amazing. I may or may not have exclaimed out loud by myself in the livingroom upon taking my first bite; but if I did, I can assure you that it was because the delicate intensity of the onion made this soup a real stand-out.
Once the solid ingredients were pureed, I added some almond milk, balsamic vinegar (which can be used as a sub for sherry vinegar), and olive oil. I also added pinches of salt and pepper directly into the soup and blended them in, as opposed to garnishing with these seasonings afterward. Once done, I placed in the fridge to chill for about an hour – a must not only to make the soup nice and cold, but to let the flavors meld together. When ready to serve, garnish the soup with some grapes and almonds. The recipe recommends adding arugula to the garnish; I didn’t add this simply because I didn’t have any. I’m sure it’s very delicious though!
This soup is incredible as far as taste. All of the flavors go together really nicely, and each fruit, vegetable, and nut gets its place in the sun thanks to light seasonings. It’s perfect for a hot day, especially since cucumbers and grapes both have a high water content. Enjoy!