Recipe: Chunky Gazpacho

With the temperatures climbing, lighter foods are definitely on the menu and this colourful chilled Spanish soup is perfect for this time of year.  In my version the vegetables are not pureed but still retain some crunch, giving the soup a lovely texture. It’s also extremely low in fat, which is great news for those of us that are trying to shed a couple of kilos in an attempt to fit into last year’s swimsuit!  For the best flavoured soup, ensure that the ingredients are top quality. A New Zealand sauvignon blanc is a good wine accompaniment if you’re not watching your weight.

Gazpacho

Ingredients (serves 4):
1 green capsicum, seeds & white pith removed & roughly chopped
600g ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 small Lebanese cucumber, peeled and roughly chopped
1 small red onion, peeled and roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
Tabasco sauce to taste
2 cups tomato juice

Method:
1. Reserve a piece of the capsicum and cut into fine dice for the garnish. Set aside.
2. Process the remaining capsicum, tomatoes, cucumber and onion separately in a food processor or blender until finely chopped but not pureed – the vegetables should retain some crunch. (If you don’t own a food processor or blender, finely dice the vegetables by hand.) Place in a large non-reactive bowl.
3. To the bowl of vegetables add the garlic, lemon juice, vinegar, olive oil and Tabasco sauce and season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
4. Pour over the tomato juice, cover with plastic food wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours to chill and allow the flavours to develop.
5. When ready to serve, stir the soup and test for seasoning, adding more salt, pepper or Tabasco sauce to taste. Ladle the chilled soup into bowls, garnish with the reserved chopped capsicum and drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil.

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