Summer means an abundance of fresh seasonal vegetables and what better way to use them in easy to make, flavorful cold soups. There are seeming hundreds of variations for gazpacho, the classic Spanish cold soup which originally contained only bread, garlic, vinegar and olive oil. Contributor and Chef Marie Chalita offers her version of this summertime favorite, Mango Gazpacho.
This mango gazpacho is simple and allows the vegetables to really show their flavor. Instead of the traditional bread croutons, we’ve added a garnish of diced mango and melon which adds a level of freshness and flavor without additional carbohydrates and calories. Tomatoes are a superfood that truly pack a nutritious punch. They are high in vitamins A and C and include lycopene which can help reduce the risk of certain cancers. For the best flavor, be sure to use the best, ripest tomatoes you can find.
MANGO GAZPACHO SOUP
8 large ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
¼ cup yellow onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 medium sized cucumbers, peeled, seeded and cut into ½” chunks
1 orange bell pepper, seeded and chopped
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup red wine or sherry vinegar
1 TBSP lime juice
1 cup tomato juice (or water)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
For the Garnish:
2 Ataulfo mangoes diced
Note: Ataulfo mangoes, also called champagne mangoes, boast a delicious sweet flavor and stringless flesh. If unavailable, use diced ripe cantaloupe or orange bell pepper for an attractive garnish.
1. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, combine all ingredients except the tomato juice.
2. Puree until the mixture is very smooth.
3. Stop the motor and add a bit of tomato juice if desired if the mixture seems too thick.
4. For a smoother gazpacho, strain the soup through a coarse sieve by pushing it through with the back of a wooden spoon.
5. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
6. Pour the gazpacho into a large bowl and chill at least one hour before serving.
Variation: For an added kick, add a couple of dashes of Tabasco sauce to taste.
Some Ideas for Presentation: For an extra refreshing presentation, hollow out the halves of two medium sized melons, chill, and pour soup into each half. For a more elegant presentation, serve the soup in Martini glasses or decorative cocktail glasses.