As the sunny, summer weather and the warm evenings continue, I still just want to eat fresh, light meals, and this chilled tomato soup is perfect. I am back in Paris, where the sun is shining, and after spending the morning strolling the local fruit markets, there is no lunch more refreshing than a cool bowl of gazpacho.
Since the only ingredients are fresh vegetables, a little garlic, chilli, olive oil and water, this is totally virtuous yet insanely delicious. I don't know if it is due to the warmer temperature that the tomatoes out here are so firm and juicy, but they really put the ones back home to shame.
I am still trying to keep up my reading on nutrition alongside doing my course, and my main finding this week was the importance of raw vegetables. I know I have mentioned this before, but having read it in yet another book, I decided I should really try and eat more raw veg, and whilst it sounds overly healthy, I think you will love this gazpacho! My flatmate and I enjoyed big, chilled bowls of it for supper last night, with the Parisian evening sun streaming in through the French doors.
Having spoken about tomatoes before, I turned my research to the other stars of the recipe. Not only do peppers look and taste beautiful, they are packed full of goodness. They are a great source of vitamin C and antioxidants, and are one of the vegetables in particular that should often be eaten raw, either chopped on your salads or blended into your soups.
I think cucumber has a bad rep for the part it plays in soggy salads, alongside iceberg lettuce and mushy tomato quarters, but it is awesome. Such a large proportion of cucumber is water, which is vital for our health. Cucumber will help keep you hydrated, plus the combo of water and fibre will give you healthy, happy insides! I had always assumed that since cucumber is basically just water, it was slightly empty calories (but not many of them!), but cucumbers actually contain a surprising number of vitamins and minerals, so it is time to get your blenders out!
1 red pepper
1/2 a large cucumber
2 cloves of garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
A pinch of dried chilli
A squeeze of lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
Chop all the ingredients, and put aside a few pieces of cucumber and pepper for garnish and a bit of crunch. Blend all the ingredients, adding water until you reach your desired consistency. Chill in the fridge before serving.