Green Gazpacho is a classic Spanish summer soup. It’s best eaten ice cold and is a refreshing respite on hot days. It’s full of flavor that leaves you happy and ready to belt out Good Day Sunshine no matter how hot it is outside. I made mine with dandelion greens and spruce tips, because that’s what’s in season here. However, Green Gazpacho may be made with any assertive greens, including spinach, parsley, arugula, and mixed fresh herbs. If you don’t like spicy food, leave out the jalapeños or use the lesser amount. If you want a hotter version, leave in jalapeño seeds. My gazpacho recipe is based a version that chef and cookbook author Didi Emmons recently demonstrated at a class sponsored by Fromagio’s Artisan Cheese in Anchorage. Didi’s recipe is in her book, Wild Flavors: One Chef’s Transformative Year Cooking from Eva’s Farm (Chelsea Green Publishing 2011).
- 1/2 cup almonds or pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds)
- 1 large cucumber, peeled and divided
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 Tbsp. balsamic or red wine vinegar
- 3/4 cup chopped onion (1/4 of large onion)
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1-2 jalapeños, seeds removed
- 1 tsp. salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup spruce tips (or 3 cups sorrel or 2 cups parsley leaves)
- 2 cups green grapes, stems removed
- 3 packed cups dandelion or spinach leaves
- 1 packed cup cilantro leaves and stems (about 1/2 bunch)
- 1/2 packed cup fresh mint leaves
- 1-2 cups water (see Note below)
- 1/2 tray of ice cubes (optional – see Note below)
- Diced cucumber (1/4” dice)
- Cilantro leaves
- Best quality extra virgin olive oil
Toast nuts in small frying pan over medium high heat, stirring regularly so they don’t burn. When toasted, dump in bowl of blender or food processor.
Cut cucumber in half. Use small spoon to scrape out seeds from half of cucumber and cut that half into 1/4” dice to reserve for garnish. Put the remaining half cucumber (and all seeds) in blender/processor with nuts.
To nuts and cucumber in blender/processor container, add all remaining ingredients. Turn on blender/processor and whir until ingredients are turned into a coarse soup. Taste and add salt, as needed. If soup isn’t cold, refrigerate before serving. Pour in chilled bowls and garnish with diced cucumber and cilantro. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and serve immediately.
Note: Only certain blenders and food processors can break down ice cubes. If you have a powerful machine (such as Vitamix, Blendtec, Ninja), use 1 cup water and 1/2 tray of ice cubes. If your machine can’t handle ice, leave it out and use 2 cups water. With this alternative, understanding gazpacho is best served ice cold, refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.