Friday, August 24, 2012

Green Gazpacho

I have been absent for quite a while, and I missed you. I missed being here, talking about food. And I missed cooking, too.
You might remember me talking about going to France for a while. And even now, what feels like a year after, I still owe you photos and tales from the land of fabulous food. I'd love to share, and plan to get back to it.

I have been away some more, though, keeping myself away from the computer for another week. I spent one week cooking for 22 kids at a camp, together with my boyfriend. It has been a exhausting but rewarding week.
And the days in between, those I did not spend working, were spent at my boyfriend's family's chalet, where the days are long and lazy, and the computers turned off, for the most part.

I am happy to be back, for now. And I'd love to share this recipe for a green gazpacho with you. I saw this recipe in Ottolenghi's cookbook Plenty just yesterday, and loved the concept of a green gazpacho. And I really liked how these different ingredients worked together to create a soup that tastes like gazpacho, but is still different. I wasn't too sure about the celery in the beginning, but it really blended in nicely. I changed quite a few things, though, some out of laziness, because a gazpacho recipe really should be easy to throw together. Most notably, I refuse to add more than one clove of garlic to a gazpacho, contrary to what you might believe me to do, considering the name of this blog. But adding four cloves of garlic, uncooked, and puree them into this delicate soup, it just destroys the flavor. If you do like your gazpacho to be garlicky, though, add more garlic to your liking. One more thing, last February in Spain, we were served gazpacho as a drink, to accompany the meal we ate. I love this concept, and if you want to try it, you should be adding more water than I suggest in this recipe, to make the gazpacho drinkable.

Green Gazpacho
adapted from a recipe out of Ottolenghi's book Plenty
And note: if you are looking for another gazpacho recipe, also check out last year's beet and cucumber gazpacho, another different, but really good gazpacho, and an amazing color

2 stalks of celery, with the leaves
1 green pepper
1 large cucumber
1 clove of garlic
1 tbsp basil leaves
1-2 tbsp parsley
3-4 tbsp olive oil
a small handful walnuts, lightly toasted
a slice of bread, crust removed, but set aside
2 tbsp yogurt, and more to serve
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1-2 tsp salt
a pinch of cayenne pepper, or more, according to taste
cold water
1/2 tbsp sesame seeds

Start with chopping all the vegetables and herbs. Put them in a blender, or in a jug or pan that is more tall than wide if you use an immersion blender. Add the walnuts, olive oil and bread, and enough cold water to cover the vegetables to about 2/3s, start with one cup and go from there if you are unsure. Blend until smooth, then add the yogurt, and the spices, salt and pepper and give it one more short whiz in the blender. Taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking.
Put in the fridge to cool, or add ice cubes into the blender and blend until smooth and cold.
Cut the left-over crust of the bread slice into small chunks and fry them in a little olive oil. Add in the sesame seeds when the bread is crunchy, let them toast slightly and then remove from the heat.
To serve, distribute the gazpacho into bowls, spoon a tablespoon of yogurt onto each serving, scatter the croutons and the sesame seeds on top and drizzle with a bit of olive oil (or sesame oil, I liked that even better).

Serves 4, or two on two consecutive nights.


  1. Glad you're back Lena. I hope you come back with some more photos of France! I would love to see those. In the meantime, it sounds like you've had a good case of the extremities of summer-- either stressed and busy, or lazy and slow. Either way, it's nice to get a break from the blog world (even though we always end up coming back). Anyway, this green gazpacho looks great, really intriguing. I think you made a good call on that garlic. And gazpacho as a drink! I've never thought about it that way, next time I make it I'll have to try that.

  2. i adore your variation! brilliant, delicious work!

  3. Come join in my event sometime....

    You are welcome to join in my monthly food blogger event THE SOUP KITCHEN, here for entry details and current theme. New theme each month. All bloggers are welcome, hope to see you participate soon.

  4. Glad to have you back, Lena (though admittedly, I've been away from my computer for a lot of the summer too!)! Cooking for campers sounds like it would be a really interesting experience. I'd like to hear more (and about France too)!

    The gazpacho sounds and looks really great. I'm always looking for refreshing dinners at this time of the year. I'm going to have to give it a try. Octavian and I stopped by a juice bar a couple of days ago, and we ordered a freshly made juice that had a bunch of celery in it. I was a little sceptical about it at first, but it was very good and green-gazpacho-like, so I'm all for celery in this role.

  5. I recently purchased new Cuisinart blender parts to amp up my blender's capabilities. I've been especially eager to try out the food processor attachment, and this is the perfect recipe to break it in. I am going to take your suggestion and serve it as a beverage to accompany a dinner. I'm thinking herb-crusted rack of lamb with a lemon-olive oil and goat cheese arugala salad. Thanks for the inspiration, and I agree with Amy - more France photos. I need to live vicariously. Look forward to more posts.