The hottest of days are my favourite. Sunshine, litres of ice water, reading in the shade beneath the trees, and moving very slowly. Toronto's weather is one of extremes. The winters are cold and long while summers are hot and humid. Spring and fall seem to grow shorter every year and are now only a few weeks if we're lucky. You hear people exclaim that it is either “too cold" or “too hot" without much room for contentment in between.
Even when it's hot and humid and I'm glistening with perspiration–there is a part of me secretly loving it. I find it cleansing to sweat a lot and it forces everyone to be slow and peaceful–to stop and drink liquids to keep the sweat cycle going. Most of my favourite places I've been are filled with extreme heat many months of the year–Mexico, Spain, New Orleans, Brazil, Italy, Hawaii... All beautiful, intensely hot at times, with welcoming people and delicious food. There is a magic about this combination that resonates with my soul. But who's wouldn't, right?
This soup is for those days. The days when it's so hot that you cannot bear to turn your stove or oven on. Where you go through multiple trays of ice. When your body seems to only crave fresh, simple foods to nourish itself. This soup is the perfect thing–it's light with crisp bright flavours and it expends little energy since it's basically just chopping and blending. It's equally tasty for days afterwards so I recommend making a big batch at the beginning of hot week then just sit back and pour yourself drinks and cold soup for the days to come. Whether it's a morning iced coffee or a late afternoon mint julep brimming with crushed ice, take a moment and give yourself an excuse to just relax and be hot.
Also! I'm making a video series focused on summer drinks (as seen in the links above), so we can have some yummy cold beverages to ease us through the hot days. I'm super excited about it so stay tuned for more in the video section of my site if you're as thirsty as I always am. They're all going to be simple and short with music and easy recipes to follow along with. Fun fun fun!
The method for this recipe reminds me of my mum. She has a wonderful way of chopping things up and throwing them together to create a beautiful and tasty soup no matter the occasion. The first time I had a tomato-less gazpacho was at her house and I blown away with its cool fresh flavours. Nothing is ever measured in her kitchen, it's all done by feel. I love that. And her.
(I did measure everything here though so I could share this recipe with all of you wonderful people). Enjoy! xx
CUCUMBER AVOCADO GAZPACHO + CHARRED CORN PICO DE GALLO
t h e m a g i c
i n s p i r a t i o n : memories of down in mexico
f e e l s : cold, light, fresh, spicy
e a t w i t h : lemon ice water, tortilla chips, fresh bread, seafood, white or rose wine, agua jamaica, margaritas.
m i g h t l i k e i f y o u ' r e i n t o : hammocks, the ocean, garden gatherings, siestas, laying beneath willow trees, raw food, fresh produce, guacamole, Mexican food.
t h e s c i e n c e
makes 5 cups of gazpacho + 4 cups of pico de gallo (I like to make extra for all my tortilla chip needs.)
i n g r e d i e n t s :
cucumber avocado gazpacho
- 2 avocados
- 1 cucumber
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/2 white onion
- 1/4 cup cilantro
- 1/4 cup lime juice, freshly squeezed
- 1/2 cup organic plain yogurt
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1.5 cups cold water
- 1 tsp salt
pico de gallo
- 5 medium on the vine tomatoes or 3 large heirloom tomatoes, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1/2 white onion, diced finely
- 2 cobs of corn, charred on the bbq (optional) and cut off cob
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 jalapeno pepper, minced
- 2 tbsp cilantro, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup lime juice, freshly squeezed
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp toasted pepitas for each bowl, to garnish (optional)
m e t h o d :
- Make pico de gallo first so the flavours have time to mingle and get to know each other. In a medium bowl, add tomato, red pepper, white onion, garlic, jalapeno, cilantro, lime juice and salt. Mix to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving. (I like to reserve my corn and pepitas in separate containers until just before serving so that they both stay crisp in texture).
- Make gazpacho. In a blender combine all ingredients for the soup and blend until a smooth consistency. You can blend in a few batches then mix together in a large bowl if your blender is too small. Taste and season with more salt if desired.
- When ready to serve, ladle gazpacho into bowls and spoon some pico de gallo on top. Add 1-2 tbsp charred corn and toasted pepitas to each bowl. Drizzle some extra virgin olive oil on top if desired.