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My neighbor brought over a bag of fresh, juicy tomatoes from his garden. He hung them in a bag on my door knob and disappeared – he didn’t even ring the door bell.

Well, I assume it was my neighbor. He’s retired and grows the most amazing tomato garden every summer. Just tomatoes and lots of them. I anxiously await mid-August when I know he’s about to serve up a bounty of the best, juiciest, red tomatoes around. And he can never eat them all. What a shame . . .

Spanish Gazpacho is perfect for hot summer days – a delicious blend of the best garden vegetables. This is my gluten-free, dairy-free version of the classic tomato soup. You can make this any way you’d like. It’s hard to mess it up if you have the right ingredients. Use fresh, ripe veggies. Organic is always best.

what you need
4, 5, or 6 fresh, ripe tomatoes, chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 jalapenos, seeded and chopped (or 1, or none depending on how spicy you are)
2 gloves garlic, peeled and minced
6 to 8 scallions, chopped (all the white part and about half the green)
the juice of 3 limes
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne (or none if you don’t like spicy)
1/2 teaspoon cumin
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 cup water
16 ounces R.W. Knudsen Organic Very Veggie Juice (or something similar)
fresh ground pepper and Celtic sea salt to taste
chopped avocado for garnish
1/2 cup gluten-free bread crumbs (Sometimes I add these, sometimes I don’t. I used one piece of Montina bread crumbled up in the batch I made in the photo. It gives it a little body, but if you don’t have any gluten-free bread, it doesn’t matter, just skip it.)
Notes: you can also add a couple of tablespoons of agave honey, which adds a nice hint of sweetness.

what you do
Reserve a small amount of chopped scallions, cucumbers, red bell peppers, a touch of cilantro and all the avocado for topping. Using a food processor or heavy duty blender, blend the remaining ingredients to desired consistency. Taste and adjust as necessary. Add more liquid, salt, pepper, vegetable juice, cayenne pepper – whatever strikes your fancy. You might have to blend this in two batches or cut back on the amounts and only make half as much. This recipe will serve 6 people. Serve chilled. Yum!

Nutrition Notes: Fresh, organic, whole fruits and vegetables impart more nutritional energy than the canned or frozen variety. In fact, the word vegetable comes from the Latin word vegetare, which means to enliven. Raw foods (called live food) contain active enzymes. Enzymes are sensitive to heat and are destroyed with pasteurization and cooking. They help break down our food so we can efficiently absorb the nutrients. Enzymes are the worker bees of digestion.

So raw is good – for everyone, but especially for people with impaired digestion (yes, that would be those of us with celiac disease). Gazpacho is packed with good stuff, including lots of fiber. Here’s the short version – I’ll highlight a few of the super foods in this Spanish soup.

Tomatoes (which are actually a fruit) are high in vitamin C, A and potassium. They’re also a great source of lycopene, which is a powerful antioxidant (good for prostate health), and niacin, vitamin B6 and folate.

Red bell pepper – these are another super antioxidant and are also high in lycopene. Good stuff, for sure.

Cayenne pepper and jalapenos not only add a zesty zing to food, but also contain a substance called capsaicin. The technical name is 8-methyul-N-vanillyl-6-nonenamide, in case you want to throw that around at your next cocktail party. People in Thailand eats lots of capsaicin and they also have a very low rate of gastrointestinal cancers. Studies show it is protective against those types of cancers.

Warning – don’t rub your eyes after chopping jalapenos! Wash your hands!

Cilantro (the leaf of the coriander plant) is one of my favorites, partly because it’s so detoxifying. Research shows it helps detox heavy metals from the body (among other environmental toxins). It’s also a good digestive aid.

Okay, I’ll stop with the nutrition lecture – for this time. Enjoy the gazpacho, it’s full of healthy ingredients with very few calories! And if you’re wondering, that’s an organic Kalamati olive thrown on top. Oh, I love those. . .

One Response to “gluten free gazpacho”

  1. Eileen says:

    this is wonderful option, I have enjoyed gazpacho for years, but always used breadcrumbs… looking forward to trying this out.

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