As we enter the sizzling months of summer, the last thing I want to do is prepare a meal standing over a hot stove or grill. The recipes in today’s blog celebrate the season’s flavors without the heat.
This combination is truly the perfect summertime soup and sandwich combo – Gazpacho with Avocado Toast.
I can’t say I’ve always been a fan, but if done well, gazpacho is out of this world – especially on a hot summer day.
Gazpacho is the chilled tomato and vegetable soup from Andalusia, Spain, that bursts with fresh-from-the-garden flavors.
I used Heirloom tomatoes in this recipe for a few reasons. Heirlooms are meaty with few seeds. They have a distinctively mellow, sweet taste that works well in gazpacho. Heirlooms originated in Spain sometime in the 1500s. I can imagine Heirlooms were the inspiration when gazpacho was first invented.
Your basic avocado toast is easy to prepare, healthy, and delicious when made with whole-wheat toast topped with mashed, ripe avocados, salt, and pepper.
There are many variations to this trendy spread. Top it with anything from bean sprouts to an over-easy egg. No matter what you prefer—the basics stay the same: avocado, salt + pepper, bread.
And one last thing, if you’re motivated to eat a healthier diet, this summertime soup and sandwich combo are plant-based. A plant-based diet mainly consists of vegetables, fruit, whole grains, and herbs. Many experts agree that plant-based eating is the healthiest way to support healthy weight and longevity.
• 3 lb. heirloom tomatoes, cored and chopped into 1/2-inch cubes
• 2 medium-sized cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and cut into ½ -inch cubes
• 1 sweet onion, cut into ½ -inch cubes
• 1 ½ tsp. salt, more to taste
• 5 tsp. fresh lemon juice
• 4 tbs. olive oil
• 1 tsp. grated fresh flat-leaf parsley
• 1 tsp. grated fresh cilantro
• 1 tsp. grated basil
• 1 tsp. grated fresh thyme
• Freshly ground pepper, to taste
• 2 garlic cloves
• 2 tbs. sherry vinegar
• ½ scallion for garnish
• 1 avocado for garnish
Tip: If you can find Vidalia onions in season, use them. Gazpacho is a raw soup, and raw onion may be too pungent to let the other flavors shine through. Sweet yellow onions are the fallback if you can’t find Vidalia onions.
Using a vegetable chopper (or knife), cube the tomatoes, cucumbers, and onion and place them in separate bowls. Using an herb grater, grind the parsley, cilantro, basil, and thyme together into a small bowl. Mince the garlic and put it aside.
Scoop 2 cups of the tomatoes, 1 cup of sweet onion, and 1 1/2 cups of the cucumber cubes and mix them in a bowl. Add 1/2 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. of lemon juice, 2 tbs. of olive oil, half the herb mixture, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
Tip: The vegetable chopper I prefer is the PL8 Professional Vegetable Chopper from William Sonoma. This chopper simplifies and beautifies everything you prepare. It minces and creates uniform ¼’ and ½’ cubes. The removable base catches the chopped food and doubles as a mixing bowl or serving tray.
In a blender or food processor, combine the remaining vegetables, herbs, lemon juice, seasoning, garlic, and vinegar. Puree on low until the mixture is smooth for about 3 minutes—season with more salt and pepper to taste. Transfer the gazpacho to a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 1 day.
Before serving, transfer the smooth soup and the cubed vegetable mix into a large bowl and the remaining two tbs. of olive oil and mix with a large spoon. Add salt and pepper if desired.
Ladle the gazpacho into bowls and garnish with cubed avocado and scallion.
I prefer a chunky gazpacho which is why this recipe instructs you to puree part of the ingredients instead of blending them all at once. If you want a totally smooth gazpacho, by all means, blend everything together, refrigerate and serve.
Take Time to Chill
Gazpacho needs a few hours in the fridge. This gives the flavors time to mix and develop and the soup time to chill thoroughly.
Serves 4-6 | Serving Size: 1 Bowl | Per Serving: 225 Calories, 13g Fat, 27g Carbohydrates, 13g Sugar, 12g Fiber, 10g Protein
• 2 medium-sized avocados cut into ½-inch cubes
• ½ scallion cut into ¼-inch cubes
• 1 tsp. grated cilantro
• Salt and pepper to taste
• Crushed red pepper optional
• 4 slices of whole-grain bread, toasted
Cube the avocados and the scallions using a vegetable chopper (or knife). In the chopper base or bowl, add seasoning to the vegetables. Use a fork until you reach your preferred chunkiness.
Spread the mixture evenly over toasted bread. Garnish with red pepper flakes is optional.
Serves: 4 | Serving Size: 1 Toast with Avocado Salad | Per Serving: 215 Calories, 12g Fat, 24g Carbohydrates, 3g Sugar, 9g Fiber, 6g Protein
Keep Your Digestion on Track with Probiotics
Although very healthy, some veggies like tomatoes and cucumbers (to name a few) can cause intestinal gas. To ensure your digestion feels and flows smoothly, add a quality probiotic like Dynamic Biotics to your daily routine.
Dynamic Biotics contains 51 billion CFUs inside 16 unique probiotic strains. These strains have all been proven to help keep your microbiome balanced so you avoid embarrassing disruptions to your digestive system.