Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Gazpacho: a flavorful, raw soup

I'm finishing up the spring cleanse just as the semester grinds to a halt. It's a great way to finish up this cycle of my life. A lot is going to change within the next year -- even within the next few months -- so I feel that it is appropriate to clean, lighten, and finish projects with clear intentions and calm perspective.

Like last year's spring cleanse (which I did a few months before starting this blog), I spent 6 weeks eating a macrobiotic diet of whole foods, lightly cooked, supplemented with things like probiotics, enzymes, greens powders, whey powder, and lots of herbal tea. Also like last year, I lost a bunch of weight -- this time I dropped about 11 lbs. Of course, I had put on at least 8 lbs. over the stupid winter (can I just say that I wish Xmas would go away and never come back? Call me Scrooge -- w/e). So, I'm feeling thin and healthy, which is nice. I also had the chance to do a lot more with stinging nettles (I made a pesto with it! -- just steam or boil it until it's soft and then use it as a basil replacement), which are so good for cleansing. I made a strong tea with them and added some fresh peppermint for a fantastic cleanse tea. Really good for those "gaseous" times during the cleanse. ;)

I also experimented a bit more with raw food and liquids, which leads me to the title of this post. Gazpacho is such a great soup; it's pure vegetable and spoon-licking good. It's a great, light food. This is a really basic recipe -- feel free to experiment with different vegetables -- maybe some greens or carrots or some different herbs.

1 lb. of ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 spanish onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded, chopped
2 cups tomato/vegetable juice (use one that is a medley of vegetables for more complex flavor)
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar (so good for you, esp. when cleansing)
1 tsp. of ground cumin (adds depth; makes the soup feel more "substantial")
1/2 c. chopped cilantro
1/4 c. olive oil
salt and pepper to taste (or use Bragg's)

Honestly, this is pretty easy -- everything ends up in the food processor or blender and is pureed until the desired consistency is achieved. Start with the tomatoes and then just add the ingredients, pretty much in the order given. Add the oil last, however, and pour it in slowly as the blender is running so it will incorporate well. Chill. Serve nice and cold.

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