A cure for salad allergy

The pleasures of gazpacho, Spain’s powerhouse summer soup.

Carolyn Steel | June/July 2009 issue

Lots of people have a nearly pathological aversion to raw vegetables, which is understandable given that most of us associate raw veggies with “healthy.” And if your mother said something was healthy, it usually meant it didn’t taste very good. Hence an entire generation of mothers achieved the opposite of what they intended. Thankfully, there’s hope for even the toughest cases of “salad allergy.” Forget about the desperate pile of rucola and alfalfa and start serving gazpacho.
This powerful summer soup from the Andalusia region of Spain is a liquid salad: raw vegetables mixed with olive oil and vinegar. But because gazpacho doesn’t look like salad, and because it’s called gazpacho, everyone gobbles up this rich source of vitamins without a qualm.
Traditionally, gazpacho was prepared with a mortar, but the food processor works quite well for finely dicing soaked bread (no crust) with a couple of cloves of garlic, strained tomatoes, 2 tbs. (1/5 dl.) of white wine vinegar,
4 tbs. (1/3 dl.) of olive oil, pepper and salt. This is where the variation comes in. You can add extra ingredients (cucumber, zucchini, green pepper, melon, celery), pureed in the food processor or thinly sliced and stirred into the soup. Something with a bite is nice, but hard boiled eggs, croutons or shrimp work well, too. Let your liquid salad get cold in the refrigerator and serve with a bit of olive oil and diced spring onion.

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