Cold Soup For Hot Days

Just because its hot outside doesn’t mean you can’t serve soup. Gazpacho, a classic Spanish cold soup, makes a delicious summer lunch or light supper. Served in small cups, it can also be a light first course to a summer dinner.

Many nutrition experts advise choosing deep colored vegetables and fruits. Colors such as dark green, yellow, orange and red often indicate the presence of different phytochemicals that help fight cancer. Eating a rainbow of colors, like those in this recipe, is a good way to bolster your health defenses.

Only one ingredient in this soup is essential: choose a low-sodium tomato juice as a base. Aside from that stipulation, this is a recipe that can be made to fit your own likes and dislikes. If you’re fond of cucumbers, up the cucumbers. If raw onions don’t agree with you, eliminate them. If your garden is producing mounds of zucchini, dice some and add it. Taste the soup as you proceed to be sure you are achieving a mix that tastes right to you.

Don’t limit your bell peppers to green–use seeded finely diced red, orange and yellow peppers as well for a more colorful effect with added crunch and a hint of sweetness. It adds to the fun to serve some of the ingredients as toppings that your guests can add or leave out as desired. Place small bowls with little serving spoons on the table for chopped hardboiled egg whites, scallions, even olives. This is a soup with as many different versions as there are cooks and even eaters.

If you’re serving Gazpacho as the main meal, accompany it with a fresh green salad with chickpeas in it to give your guests more bulk, or a healthy slice of multigrain toast spread with tapenade or low fat cream cheese and chives. Here is a dish where you can’t go wrong if you let your imagination and taste buds guide your hand.

If you prefer to use the recipe exactly as written, however, you’re sure to enjoy the results, too, and, at 70 calories per serving, you can afford to have seconds.

Ten-Minute Gazpacho - Makes 4 servings.

2 cups reduced-sodium tomato juice
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. breadcrumbs
1/2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup seeded and diced cucumber
1/4 cup seeded and finely diced green bell pepper
1 plum tomato, seeded and finely diced
1/4 cup red onion, finely diced
1/4 cup zucchini, finely diced (optional)
1 hard boiled egg white, finely chopped (optional)

In a blender, purée tomato juice, garlic and olive oil. Add breadcrumbs and vinegar, and blend to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour into a covered container and chill well, from 2 hours to overnight.

When ready to serve, adjust seasonings if necessary. Divide soup among 4 serving bowls. Add 1 Tbsp. each of diced cucumber, pepper, tomato and onion, plus zucchini and egg white if desired. (Or add diced vegetables to juice mixture before serving.)

Per serving: 70 calories, 3 g. total fat (less than 1 g. saturated fat), 10 g. carbohydrate, 2 g. protein, 1 g. dietary fiber, 97 mg. sodium.

The Author:

The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) offers a Nutrition Hotline online at www.aicr.org or via phone 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET, MondayFriday, at 1-800-843-8114. This free service allows you to ask questions about diet, nutrition and cancer. A registered dietitian will respond to your email or call, usually within 3 business days. AICR is the only major cancer charity focusing exclusively on how the risk of cancer is reduced by healthy food and nutrition, physical activity and weight management. The Institute’s education programs help millions of Americans lower their cancer risk. AICR also supports innovative research in cancer prevention and treatment at universities, hospitals and research centers across the U.S. Over $82 million in funding has been provided. AICR is a member of the World Cancer Research Fund International.

Article Posted: July 29, 2007

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