Gazpacho with quinoa
Gazpacho with a quinoa twist
This fresh and healthy cold soup is essentially a liquid salad, that gets a little texture and protein boost from a bit of quinoa. Boiled egg and garlic are mashed together with a bit of salt for texture and flavor. Spanish Sherry vinegar and a great olive oil tie it all together. This recipe was inspired by Mom's Gazpacho, a recipe published in Epicurious in 2001, that uses bread, mashed eggs and garlic.
There are some very strong feelings as to what a real gazpacho is. The original gazpacho came from Andalucía, Spain, but gazpacho's roots likely came from bread soups made by the Moors or the Romans. At any rate, the original gazpacho predated the arrival of the tomato to Spain and was made with stale bread, bits of leftover vegetables, vinegar, ground almonds, oil and salt. The tomato version of gazpacho is relatively recent, sometime after Christopher Columbus brought back tomatoes from the New World.
Traditional or not, cold blended vegetable and fruit soups are now often referred to as gazpacho.
Olive oil and Jerez vinegar
There are many variations of gazpacho, but the one constant in a great gazpacho is high quality olive oil and Jerez Spanish sherry vinegar. I recently discovered NUVO, a California-grown organic olive oil that can be purchased through ZucchiniXpress. NUVO olive oil has great flavor and is lab-tested for its high levels of antioxidants.
Fresh summer tomatoes
Gazpacho is best with fresh vine-ripened summer tomatoes. I use plum tomatoes because they can be used without seeding them. You can use any type of tomato, but if you use a seedier tomato, remove some of the seeds with your fingers before blitzing in the food processor.
Traditional gazpacho has a bit of day old bread or bread crumbs to thicken the soup. This version eliminates the bread and replaces it with quinoa. I like to cook the quinoa in beef broth to infuse it with flavor, but you can substitute chicken or vegetable broth or even water. You can substitute bread crumbs for the quinoa if you wish, for a more traditional gazpacho.
A food processor or blender minimizes the work
A food processor or blender makes this soup quick and easy to make. You can make it without a food processor, but you will be chopping for quite awhile. You can best control the size of the vegetable chop by pulsing your food processor and by chopping one vegetable at a time. But if want, you can throw all the ingredients in together. I like my gazpacho to be not too chunky and not to smooth. So once all the vegetables are chopped and mixed together, I put half the chopped vegetables back in the food processor and blitz them until smooth. I mix the chunky vegetables with the blitzed vegetables, for in my opinion, the perfect gazpacho texture.
Alter the heat
Make a big batch
This soup gets better after a day or two and keeps well in the fridge for about a week. So in the heat of the summer, when the tomatoes are bursting on the vine, make a big batch and eat it all week long.
One of my readers wrote in and reminded me that Worcestershire sauce is not vegetarian as it is made with anchovies. Thank you, Denise! There are vegetarian and vegan substitutes, however. Edward's and Son's makes the top-rated vegan Worcestershire sauce sold on Amazon.
Gazpacho with quinoa
Yield 12 -14 servings
Gazpacho with a quinoa twist. This ever-so healthy cold soup is the perfect meal for a hot summer night. Make a big batch and stash it in the fridge so you can enjoy this soup for several days.
- 1/2 cup black quinoa
- 1 cup of broth (beef, chicken or vegetable)
- 4 boiled eggs
- 3/4 cup red onion
- 3 pounds plum tomatoes
- 1 pound cucumbers, seeded
- 2 red peppers, seeded
- 4 stalks celery
- 1/2 cup chopped parsley
- Juice from 1 lemon
- 2 t dried oregano
- 4 T Worcestershire sauce (or vegan substitute)
- 1/4 t crushed red pepper flakes
- 5 cloves garlic
- 1 t kosher salt
- 3/4 cup good quality first press virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup Jerez Spanish sherry vinegar
- 2 cups of tomato juice, add to desired consistancy
- Garnish with chopped avocado, boiled eggs, chopped vegetables or croutons.
- Wash quinoa. Bring broth to a boil, add quinoa, cover and reduce to low heat. Cook for 15 minutes. Turn off heat and let sit for 10 minutes and fluff with a fork. Set aside.
- In a food processor, finely mince the onion by pulsing the food processor. Don't over pulse or you will get onion juice. Put in a large bowl.
- Cut the core out of the tomatoes and cut each tomato in half. Put in food processor and pulse until tomatoes are chopped. You should have quarter inch pieces and a lot of puree. Add tomatoes to bowl with onions. Repeat with cucumbers, red peppers and celery, again pulsing until you have roughly 1/4" pieces. Add chopped parsley, lemon juice, oregano, Worcestershire sauce and red pepper flakes. Stir to combine.
- Remove half of the chopped vegetables from the bowl and return to the food processor. Blitz and then return the blitzed vegetables to chopped vegetable bowl and stir to combine.
- Put salt and garlic cloves in food processor and blitz. You can also do this by hand by alternating chopping and mashing the salt into the garlic with the side of the knife blade.
- Mash boiled eggs with a fork in the bottom of a small bowl. Add garlic and salt mixture and thoroughly combine.
- Add egg mixture and 1 cup cooked quinoa to the vegetable mixture. Stir to combine. (Note: 1/2 cup dried quinoa makes more than 1 cup cooked quinoa. Save remainder for another use.)
- Add olive oil and Jerez vinegar. Add tomato juice until you achieve the consistency you desire. The amount of tomato juice will depend on your preference and on the juiciness of your tomatoes. Chill at least four hours. Gazpacho gets better as the flavors meld. Will keep in the fridge for about a week.