Classic Spanish gazpacho is traditionally made with tomatoes, bread, olive oil, and garlic. Here, a bounty of green vegetables and herbs — spinach, cucumber, bell pepper, avocado, chile pepper, basil, parsley, and mint — make a bright green soup that needs no cooking. Think of it as a cross between the best green smoothie you ever made with touches of a great guac. Mix day-old bread with yogurt, olive oil, and lime juice to soften it (leave the bread out to dry before you do this or put it in a low oven for 10 minutes). The recipe calls for half a chile but adjust the spiciness, if you like, and add the other half or add the seeds, which contribute heat. To produce soup with a smooth consistency, blend the ingredients in batches with a little of the liquid, then add additional liquid to thin it as needed. Chill gazpacho thoroughly, and taste again when cold; and add more salt if it needs some.
|2||slices firm white bread, left out to dry, crusts removed, torn in pieces|
|⅓||cup plain yogurt|
|3||tablespoons olive oil|
|2||tablespoons lime juice|
|4||cups fresh spinach, tough stems removed|
|1||large slicing cucumber, halved lengthwise, seeded, and chopped|
|½||green bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped|
|1||ripe avocado, halved, pitted and peeled|
|½||jalapeno or other small green chile, seeded|
|¼||cup chopped fresh basil|
|¼||cup chopped fresh parsley|
|¼||cup chopped fresh mint|
|1||clove garlic, finely chopped|
|1½||cups water, or more if needed|
|Salt and black pepper, to taste|
|Extra olive oil (for sprinkling)|
|2||scallions, thinly sliced (for garnish)|
|1||lime, cut into 6 wedges (for serving)|
1. In a bowl, combine the bread, yogurt, olive oil, and lime juice. Mash until the bread is softened.
2. In a food processor, combine the spinach, cucumber, bell pepper, avocado, jalapeno or other chile, basil, parsley, mint, garlic, bread mixture, ¾ cup of the water, salt, and black pepper. Pulse until the mixture is well blended, scraping down the sides of the work bowl as necessary.
3. Add the additional ¾ cup water and continue to pulse until incorporated. Add more water, ¼ cup at a time, if you like. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and black pepper, if you like.
4. Transfer to a plastic container and chill thoroughly.
5. Ladle into bowls, sprinkle with olive oil and scallions. Serve with lime. Jill GibsonJill Gibson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.