Sunday, May 17, 2015

Gazpacho Glow :: Summer Soup Recipe

Gazpacho — photo courtesy of Paul Goyette (Creative Commons)
Ayurveda generally eschews raw foods. The thinking is, among other things, that lightly cooked foods are easier to digest. And, being of Vata constitution myself, I much prefer hot soups to cold ones. However, Ayurveda honors and advocates listening to the body — which is one of the reasons I love this 5,000-year-old healing tradition. 

For example, if you're an athletic person with a Pitta's hallmark strong digestion, cooling raw foods may work well for you and you'll benefit from their high Prana (life force).  On the other hand, if you're an out-of-balance Vata living in a cold climate, raw foods may prove aggravating. Your body knows best — experiment and learn what works for you.

Through personal experimentation my husband and I have learned that when the temps rise, our bodies thrive on this nutrient-dense, cold, raw-foods soup. We continue to be amazed and delighted by how this magical soup immediately energizes us and makes us literally glow (my husband calls it, "the high-pro glow").

If this nourishing soup sounds yummy, I invite you to make a batch, eat it daily for one week, and receive its gifts of increased energy, clarity of mind, digestive regularity, and a radiant complexion. (Note: The resultant "glow" is due to the high levels of cartenoids in the veggies which actually change the color of your skin. According to scientific research this type of golden skin color, vs. tanning from the sun or from a bottle, is preferred by the opposite sex. Who knew. :) ) So, summer up and get that gorgeous gazpacho glow right now… here's how:

Gazpacho Soup
Serves 6-8
  • 1 large can organic tomatoes (~28 oz. diced; seasoned is fine)*
  • 1 can tomato paste*
  • * [OR, substitute 32 oz. bottle of organic tomato juice for canned tomatoes and paste]
  • 4 small carrots (cut into chunks)
  • 4-5 stalks celery (2 diced; 2-3 cut into chunks)
  • 2 cucumbers (unpeeled; 1 cubed; 1 cut into chunks)
  • 2 orange bell peppers (seeded; 1 cubed; 1 cut into chunks)
  • 1/2 onion (chopped)
  • 2 big handfuls of spinach (chopped)
  • 1/2 - 1 bunch fresh cilantro (chopped)
  • 4-5 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • 1/3 c. olive oil
  • 1/3 c. red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. Arizona Gunslinger sauce (optional)
  • Season to taste with favorite spices and herbs (e.g. black pepper, 1 Tbsp. cumin, 1 Tbsp. basil, 1 Tbsp. oregano, etc.)
  • ~ 1 cup filtered water (optional)
In blender or food processor, puree diced tomatoes, tomato paste, 4 carrots, 2 celery stalks, 1 cucumber, and one bell pepper. Pour into large soup pot. Cube or dice 2 celery stalks, 1 cucumber, one bell pepper, 1/2 onion, and all cilantro and spinach. Place in soup pot along with crushed garlic, olive oil, red wine vinegar, and optional hot sauce. Mix well; add filtered water to desired consistency; season to taste; chill for 2 hours. Serve with slices of avocado and a side of kale or corn chips.