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I love gazpacho so much. If it were a person, I would marry it (if I weren’t already married, of course) (well, you know what, taste this first and get back to me).

When I was doing fieldwork in Spain for a summer, vegetarian options were pretty thin on the ground. I did manage to find one veggie restaurant in Madrid, which was decent-but-uninspiring, but mostly what I ate was…

1. Bread (usually baked in someone’s fireplace and harder than holy fuck)

2. Salad (If you can get it without tuna…iceberg lettuce, black olives, raw onions, maybe some tomato, canned corn, and oil ‘n vinegar dressing…a bit boring in bulk)

3. Carne vegetale (if you can find this, it’s actually fucking wicked when fried like a cutlet. No idea what it is, all they ever told me was “carne vegetale” and showed me the can so I could vet it for myself)

4. Gummy worms they sold at the bar/grocery store/family home that was the only business in our tiny town.

5. Egga. At the time, eggs made me vomit. I actually only learned to eat eggs because of my time in Spain! (and tortilla espanol is amazing)

So, I was pretty fucking grateful when gazpacho started showing up, and even when I got out of nowheresville for Madrid and Barcelona, I kept eating it in restaurants. It’s just so goddamn good- filling, low in fat, calories, and pretty low in carbs, totally vegetarian (and can be made vegan!), and really cools you off. Oh, yeah, it’s a cold soup, if you didn’t already know- there’s a part in Jaws (the book) where Chief Brody’s wife throws a dinner party in an attempt to reconnect with her former status as a wealthy “summer person,” and she makes gazpacho. Brody sees it on the stove, thinks it’s something gross that’s gone off and tries to throw it out, then chucks a pee-pee baby tantrum when it’s cold. God, that movie scared the shit out of me as a kid. Ugh.

ANYWAYS. This recipe is adapted from The New Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen. Nothing was wrong with the old one, if you ask me, but Moosewood is one of the few really all-encompassing veggie restaurants in the world, and since I grew up spitting distance from Ithaca anyways, it’s one of my favorites.

A few notes on tweaking this recipe: I added the bread, since Katzen’s recipe didn’t call for any, but gazpacho in its earliest form was likely a sort of pudding made of stale bread and olive oil. Plus, I wanted it to be a bit more filling, since it was meant as a meal. If you eliminate the bread, of course, the carb content lowers. It’s also a good option for vegans who don’t have any vegan bread on hand.

If you want to add that little bit of extra mouthfeel without the carbs of bread, try popping in a tablespoon or two of almond meal. I haven’t tried this, but it sounds tasty.

GAZ-FREAKIN’-PACHO: (Makes two large bowls or four small ones)

3 medium-sized tomatoes

Roughly 6 inches of cucumbers, peeled

1 medium-sized green pepper, chopped

2-3 sundried tomatoes, chopped/broken up

2 tbsp olive oil (or oil from the sundried tomatoes!)

Juice of 1 lemon

1 tsp balsamic vinegar

1 tsp white wine vinegar

1/4 cup of chopped onion

1 clove of garlic

Roughly 1/2-1 cup of tomato juice or V8 (if you use V8 and are watching your sodium, then you might not want to add any more salt.)

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

1/4 cup basil

2 scallions, chopped

2 pieces of stale bread, chopped

1 tsp sumac

To taste:

Salt

Pepper

Paprika

Cayenne

1. Chop every damn thing.

2. Blenderize

3. Season to taste

4. Chill and snarf, or just eat it right away.

Nutritional info: (for 1 out of 4 servings)

Calories 165.4
  Total Fat 9.8 g
  Saturated Fat 1.5 g
  Polyunsaturated Fat 0.7 g
  Monounsaturated Fat 5.0 g
  Cholesterol 0.0 mg
  Sodium 169.3 mg
  Potassium 337.0 mg
  Total Carbohydrate 16.6 g
  Dietary Fiber 2.3 g
  Sugars 3.1 g
  Protein 3.0 g
  Vitamin A 25.6 %
  Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
  Vitamin B-6 7.0 %
  Vitamin C 64.1 %
  Vitamin D 0.0 %
  Vitamin E 6.9 %
  Calcium 2.7 %
  Copper 4.8 %
  Folate 6.2 %
  Iron 7.1 %
  Magnesium 4.0 %
  Manganese 8.3 %
  Niacin 3.7 %
  Pantothenic Acid     2.7 %
  Phosphorus     3.3 %
  Riboflavin 3.3 %
  Selenium 0.8 %
  Thiamin 4.9 %
  Zinc 1.2 %

Gazpacho isn’t very pretty, so here’s a picture of someone who is:

Image

EDIT: As usual, I am dumb at word[ress and can’t get the link to stick: http://www.amazon.com/Moosewood-Cookbook-Katzens-Classic-Cooking/dp/1580081304

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