I have never been a fan of cold soups, but a trip to Spain to visit my daughter while in her study abroad program quickly changed that. Her house mother was one of those fantastic cooks who used really fresh ingredients, but couldn’t conceive of why anyone would need to use a “recipe”. All of the food she made for us was exceptional, but her Low Carb Gazpacho (recipe below) was the taste memory that stayed with me long after the trip was over.Jump to Recipe
What Makes This Gazpacho Special?
While visiting my daughter in Spain (her study abroad program), I was on a mission to taste all of the classic Spanish dishes. Highest on my list was Gazpacho. I’ve never been a cold soup fan, so I was hoping for something that could change my mind.
When my daughter’s host mother found out I was going to pay four euros for a bowl of gazpacho in a restaurant in the Sierra Nevadas, she was outraged and wouldn’t allow it. She had lived in the Andalusia region of Spain her whole life, raising 3 children and cooking for hundreds of study-abroad students. “She” would make me an authentic gazpacho ( and “it certainly wouldn’t cost 4 euros!”).
She was the one that changed my mind on cold soup, leaving me with a wonderful food memory. It was the best gazpacho ever, and I can’t imagine a restaurant making a better one, even for ten euros.
Senora was not an Andalusian grandmother that cooked with recipes however. There was not one recipe book in her house and when I asked her about her cooking, she just pointed at her head and smiled. Ah-h, would that I could cook out of my head like that!
Back in the states, I tried to replicate the memory of that gazpacho, following the scant directions that I was able to get from Senora. Of course, much of the flavor of Gazpacho is dependent on the tomatoes you use, and as we grow heirloom tomatoes on our farm, we had a wide range of flavors to work with. I chose bold, high-acid tomatoes to try and mimic the Andalusian tomatoes she worked with.
Here is my version of Senora’s gazpacho. I wish I could let her taste it and give me her critique. She was the best host mother my daughter could have hoped for and the best cook I could have hoped for in trying Spanish cuisine!
Low Carb Gazpacho from Spain
- 3 lbs. heirloom tomatoes coarsely chopped
- 1 jar roasted red bell peppers
- 1 poblano pepper coarsely chopped
- 1 red onion coarsely chopped
- 2-3 cloves garlic chopped
- 2 cucumbers peeled, seeded, chopped roughly
- 2 tsp. sea salt
- 1/4 cup sherry vinegar
- 3/4 cup olive oil the best quality you have
- 1 – 2 tsp roasted fennel seeds freshly ground after roasting
- 1 – 2 tsp roasted cumin seeds freshly ground after roasting
- Chop or process each vegetable separately and then combine them in a large bowl. Add salt and sherry vinegar. Let it sit for a couple of hours.
- Blend half of the vegetable mixture in a food processor at medium speed, drizzling in 1/2 cup of oil through the top while processing. Pour out into large bowl.
- Blend the other half of vegetable mixture in processor, drizzling in 1/4 cup of oil, along with the roasted, ground fennel seeds (or cumin). Pour both mixtures together in a bowl and stir to mix. Chill
- Before serving, bring to room temperature. Garnish with fresh avocado.
Definitely a great Spanish dish that you can enjoy wherever you live. Even Minnesota! Senora also delighted us at breakfast with this simple method for making Tomato Bread.
Want to try Ina Garten’s version of gazpacho? Click here for that recipe!
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