What‘s better than a cold bowl of super refreshing and delicious tomato gazpacho? Well, a bowl of super refreshing and delicious tomato gazpacho while not harming the environment and not producing waste. Sounds too good to be true? Just keep on reading and you‘ll find out how easy it is.
First, what even is Gazpacho?
Gazpacho is a tomato soup that originated in Spain. In Andalusia to be exact. But it is not a regular tomato soup. Since it always it super hot there in summer this soup is traditionally served chilled, straight out of the fridge. It is super refreshing and make with fresh veggies and fruit. The main components are tomatoes, bell pepper and cucumber. But also you add onions, spices, bread, herbs and water. It honestly is so incredibly simple to make.
But do you know what’s the best part about this dish? The toppings! Just as it is with a smoothie bowl, or an oatmeal, the toppings just take the dish next level. Here you can be completely creative. What I love to top this dish with are tomatoes, bell pepper, cucumber, avocado, fresh croutons, olive oil and herbs. The best. I am serious, this is the PERFECT summer food!
Why this is a great option for no waste meals
This dish actually is an amazing opportunity to try out no(or low)-waste meals and get familiar with it. Most of the ingredients are fresh and therefore do not use packaging! I would recommend to buy the fruits and veggies at a local market because there you can take your reusable packaging and make sure they are locally farmed. If you would buy them at a super market they often come in (plastic) packaging, which produces much waste! So I am calling this a no waste meal, but what about the peel of the cucumber & onion and the core of the bell pepper? The peel of the cucumber can be snacked on or added into a homemade spread. When ur comes to the „waste“ of the veggies there is a great way to make use of them! Whenever you have byproducts like those, freeze them. Maybe have a tupperware in your freezer where you can always add them too. Once you have many you can add them to a large pot with water and cook them down for several hours. This way you make your own & homemade vegetable broth! Pretty cool right? Saves money and waste!
What about the other ingredients?
Well, there are not many. The only other ones are olive oil, garlic powder, salt and bread.
For the oil: olive oil most of the times comes in glas bottles which can be reused. So either you reuse them yourself or you can find somewhere where you can give them back.
The garlic powder: you probably think why I do not use fresh garlic if I wanted less waste. Here’s the thing: fresh garlic produces less waste but the taste is just too hard and spicy when it is added into the soup being raw. So either, you buy it in a glass jar (in which it most of the times comes in) and use it for salt or unpackaged spices when the garlic is used up or you can buy it at a bulk food store and fill it into your own jars.
The bread: this actually is a great way to use up old and stale bread. When you have some leftover pieces which you believe can’t be eaten anymore, use it for this recipe. It is being soaked anyway to soften up and become soaky, so it doesn’t matter if it is older or rather stale. (If you are looking for more recipes using old bread you can check out my french toast with basil apricots)
Basil, I mean it is a herb and it is fresh. So you do not produce any waste. I get it from our garden but you can also buy it at a market. If you wanna go all waste free, buy it in a pot and not pre picked and pre packaged. This way it also lasts longer.
Is gazpacho healthy?
Yes, it definitely is! So many fresh veggies & fruits (tomatoes are fruits!!) are packed into one bowl. Also, since they are not cooked or prepared with any heat, the whole dish still contains all the vitamins and nutrients. It is really high in fibre and really versatile. Since the soup itself it vegan, it can be easily adapted to any diet by adding certain toppings!
Is it possible to make it local?
Of course! Nothing easier than that. Especially right now where everything is in season. You can find fresh tomatoes, bell pepper, cucumber and onions at any market at this time of the year. Also, finding bread which is made from local ingredients is not hard. So this is an extremely easy dish to make from lock produce!
Why is it better to make it from local ingredients?
I have talked about this in my post about the French Toast with Basil Apricots but there are two main reasons: first, it us better for the environment. Local food never has such a high CO2 footprint as food from abroad has since the transport is way shorter and therefore more environmentally friendly.
Secondly, you support your local economy when buying regional. This is always important to remain the living conditions in your home country, but especially now, during and after the crisis since many people and farmers have been hit hard. Plus, I also feel like you have a better connection to the food if it is locally grown!
And let’s be honest? Is there anything better at the moment than those beautifully coloured, super juicy, sweet and flavourful Austrian tomatoes right now? No there is not!! I know, Italian tomatoes are good, but they have travelled longer than the ones from the region, and really, one CAN taste the difference of that travel. Austrian tomatoes are in season now and really, they are better than anything else. I could eat buckets of them right now!
Actually, tomatoes have been in Austria for hundreds of years!! They came here in the 16th century from Spain and France, which means they have been grown in Austria for 500 years! They truly are an old fruit here in Austria! That really is regional and back to the roots, literally! So who says only Italians can grow tomatoes?
So if you are new to the concept of no (or low) waste meals, this is a great way to introduce yourself to it! This dish is not only super delicious and healthy but also gold for the environment, the planet, and the local economy. A win in every aspect. Plus, it is super versatile! I hope that you will enjoy this recipe and makes preparing food on hot days easier for you!
Andalusian Gazpacho (no waste)
A perfectly refreshing and delicious sih for those hot summer days. Really quick to make and absolutely healthy.
What you will need
- 1/2 cucumber
- 1 red bell pepper
- 500 g tomatoes any work well but I would recommend using several different ones (large, small, cherry)
- 1/2 red onion
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 slices toast or of whilegrain bread
- 2 tsp salt
- some cracked black pepper
- 1 tbsp baslamic vinegar use whichever vinegar you have on hand
- a handful fresh basil
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tbsp honey or maple syrup
- 100-200 ml water
For the toppings:
- 1 large slice of bread
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- some avocado
- some bell pepper
- some cucumber
- some tomatoes
- some olive oil
- some fresh basil
Place the toast in a bowl and cover with water. Let soak for about 5-10 minutes.
In the meantime half the tomatoes, remove the core of the bell pepper and peel the cucumber and chop both down a little bit. Place them in a high speed blender or in a large mxiing bowl so you can use your hand blender.
Chop the red onion and add it aswell along with the olive oil, honey, basil, salt, pepper, vinegar. Remove the toast from the water and squeeze out the remaining water. Add it to the blender aswell and blend everything up until creamy. If it is too thick for your deisre add some of the water to thin it out. Place in an air-tight container and let chill in the fridge for about 4 hours.
before serving chop the bread up into about 1cm sized cubes. Heat up the olive oil in a pan and fry the bread in there until it is crsipy and golden brown. Set aside. Cut the avocado, bell pepper and cucumber into mini cubes and half or quater the cherry tomatoes.
Divide the soup into bowls and top with the homemade bread crumbs, chopped up veggies, some fresh basil and olive oil. Serve and enjoy!
Katie // Une Petite Cusiniere