Even in its original form, gazpacho is already a raw food. It’s traditionally a cold tomato soup, but many variations of fruits and vegetables work nicely. Some people like it pureed more thoroughly, for a smoother soup, while others (like me) prefer to keep it chunkier. We made this at the restaurant one summer and garnished it with a preserved lemon cream: a nut-based sour cream we have on hand mixed with some minced preserved lemon. For an easy complement, add a drizzle of macadamia oil or other oil, or some sliced avocado, or just eat it the way it is, light and very low calorie.
- Food processor or blender
- 12 to 14 medium cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
- 4 jalapeños, seeded and minced
- 2 red bell peppers, cored and diced very small
- 1 small handful mint leaves, cut into thin chiffonade (reserve a few leaves for garnish)
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Place the cucumbers and lime juice in a food processor and process until no big pieces remain. (Alternately, add the freshly squeezed lime juice and about 2 cups of the cucumbers to a blender and blend together to liquefy the cucumber. Then, add the remaining cucumbers and pulse until no large pieces remain and you have a thick liquid.)
- Transfer the mix to a large bowl and fold in the jalapeños, red peppers, and mint. (To chiffonade the mint leaves: Lay the leaves one on top of the other, and roll tightly. Using a sharp knife, slice the roll very thin, so you have thin strips of mint. Doing it this way helps keep the herbs from bruising under the pressure of the knife.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Keep the Cucumber-Mint Gazpacho chilled in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
- Divide among bowls and garnish with mint leaves.
Excerpted from Living Raw Food, by Sarma Melngailis