A chilled, nutrient packed summer soup
This summer is all about making things nutritious but easy for ourselves while we have the kids off school – but frequently have friends over to lunch. This chilled, healthy home made gazpacho fits the bill perfectly and is such a simple, nutrient-packed recipe.
It’s easy to make in any blender – I process it in batches in my NutriBullet for a finer texture (the kids still don’t like ‘bits’). We’re calling it gazpacho but it’s not a traditional version as doesn’t contain bread (In fact it’s actually just a red vegetable smoothie masquerading as soup!).
The recipe doesn’t contain any protein so won’t be enough by itself for lunch – but it pairs well with protein based salads, is a refreshing afternoon drink – and went down really well in frozen shot glasses as an appetiser at a recent barbecue we hosted!
Tomatoes are well known for their phytonutrient content in the form of lycopene – but this is actually better absorbed when the tomatoes are cooked. When they’re raw they have other benefits; notably they’re actually a great source of Vitamin C.
The Vitamin C from the tomatoes, lemon juice, as well as the parsley and red peppers (peppers are actually a better Vitamin C source than oranges) is great for helping to suppress summer colds or hay fever symptoms.
To maximise the fat soluble nutrients such as beta-carotene and lycopene in the tomatoes, peppers and parsley – we add extra virgin olive oil to aid absorption.
The red wine vinegar adds more antioxidants as well as a source of acidity – helping to support stomach acid levels in order to promote more efficient digestion.
Cucumber and celery are two of my favourite summer vegetables (different varieties of cucumber share an entire greenhouse with my tomatoes). They’re both great sources of potassium – so it’s really no surprise that gazpacho originates from Spain where the summer heat promotes sweating and electrolyte loss. Adding back potassium sources – along with a little sodium (sea salt) all makes sense to rebalance the body’s electrolyte levels.
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