This soup is awesome! I was a little hesitant at first, as I’m not a big fan of green bell peppers, but since I have loved red gazpacho so much I thought I should at least give this a try. After all, Yotam Ottolenghi wrote in his lovely cookbook Plenty that this is by far his favourite cold soup, so it must be good. It is now one of my top favourites too. It has so much flavour, and it’s got lots of healthy ingredients. I made one big change, though – the recipe serving six people called for one whole cup! of olive oil! I cut that down to 1/4 cup. Still takes great, and I feel better knowing I’m not eating almost 3 tablespoons of oil per serving.
While there is no cooking, there’s a bit of chopping, and then blending, so it’s not as quick as I thought it would be. But it is totally worth a little extra chopping.
What you need:
- 2 celery stalks (including leaves)
- 2 small green bell peppers
- 6 mini cucumbers (1 & 1/4 lbs), peeled
- 3 slices stale white bread with crusts removed
- 1 fresh green chile (I used a jalapeno)
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 & 1/2 cups walnuts
- 6 cups baby spinach
- 1 cup basil leaves
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 4 tablespoons sherry vinegar (I used white balsamic vinegar)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 tablespoons Greek yogurt (I just used my plain yogurt)
- about 2 cups cold water
- 9 oz ice cubes
- 2 teaspoons salt
- white pepper (I just used black)
What you do:
- Lightly toast the walnuts in a dry frying pan or in the oven. Let them cool.
- Roughly chop the celery, bell peppers, cucumbers, bread, chile and garlic and place it in a blender. If you are using an immersion blender, as I did, just put the ingredients into a large bowl. If you have the option to use a blender I recommend that, as it would be a bit easier to get the right consistency for all the vegetables. Add the sugar, walnuts, spinach, basil, parsley, vinegar, oil, yogurt, most of the water, half of the ice cubes, salt, and some pepper. Puree until smooth. Add more water if you need, in order to get the right consistency. Taste and adjust seasonings if you need to.
- Add the remaining ice and blend for just a second or two to break it up a little.
- Serve with homemade croutons or a few walnuts sprinkled on top.
This makes 6 very generous portions. I cut the recipe in half, which would be a great option for a starter-sized portion.