Green gazpacho w/ almonds and grapes
New York weather spins on a dime in May. Memorial Day weekend was disappointingly cold and rainy; last week was hot and humid. My taste is suddenly all about the summer — refrigerator ice tea, corn on the cob, grilled pizza and lots of radishes and tomatoes. And I am obsessed with finding a quick and nourishing recipe for green or white gazpacho, without fillers like white bread.
I adapted a recipe that Los Angeles Times published from Martha’s Vineyard’s Sweet Life Cafe, adding hot peppers, making the dairy an optional topping and skipping the step of straining soup. The result is a cool and refreshing soup with a touch of heat — toppings such as almonds and feta make it a light meal. There you go, a weeknight gazpacho!
1 hothouse cucumber, washed, peeled and chopped
1 cup seedless green grapes (plus a few extra for garnish), washed
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
2 medium Thai long peppers, washed and trimmed (snip directly into food processor with kitchen shears)
Juice of ½ lemon
1t salt, plus extra to taste
1t sherry vinegar
plain Greek yogurt
feta cheese (any type from sheep or goat’s milk is good; I like Bulgarian)
roasted almonds, crushed
extra virgin olive oil
Purée the garlic and hot pepper in a food processor. Set aside a few grapes for garnish. Now add remaining grapes and cucumber to food processor, and puree. Pulse in lemon juice, salt, honey and vinegar. Taste and adjust seasonings. Set soup in fridge to chill (or set in freezer if you plan to serve soon).
Serve gazpacho in chilled bowls. Add a crumble of feta or a few spoons of yogurt (or omit for a vegan soup). Top with a swirl of olive oil and smoked paprika. Now garnish with sliced green grapes and a generous spoonful of crushed almonds.