The 5:2 Fast Diet Recipe Makeover: Cold Spanish Gazpacho Soup
With summer temperatures in southern Spain regularly exceeding 100F, it's no wonder the Spanish created cold Gazpacho soup for a refreshing meal on hot days. No cooking and loads of fresh vegetables, it's the ultimate Farmer's Market soup for too-hot-to-cook days.
Traditional recipes typically achieve a smooth texture by pureeing extra virgin olive oil and stale bread into the fresh vegetables and herbs. While still a healthy meal, on my 5:2 Diet fast days I prefer something much lower in calories so I can eat enough to feel full.
To lighten things up, I substituted tomato juice for the olive oil in a basic gazpacho recipe and added a splash of sherry vinegar. I'm not a fan of raw onions, so I substituted chunky salsa instead to cut the acidity of the fresh tomatoes. Similarly with the garlic: since the soup isn't cooked, I used garlic powder instead of raw garlic to be easier on the tummy.
With the substitutions, this 5:2 Diet friendly gazpacho comes out to only 46 calories per cup, perfect for fast days.
- 3 medium ripe tomatoes, about 450 g
- 1/2 medium green pepper, about 100 g
- 1/2 medium cucumber, about 150 g
- 6 Tbsp mild salsa
- 1 Tbsp sherry vinegar
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 2 tsp dried parsley
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 cup tomato juice
- Chop the tomatoes, green pepper, and cucumber into 1/2-inch chunks. (I generally don't peel or de-seed any of the veggies.) Add to your blender jar.
- Add the salsa and top with the sherry vinegar.
- Sprinkle on the basil, parsley, and garlic powder.
- Slowly pour the tomato juice over the herbs and vegetables.
- Put the lid on the blender jar and puree. I like my gazpacho very smooth, so I'll puree for about 1 minute, then stir, repeating the pureeing and stirring about 5 times.
- Chill in the refrigerator for about 2 hours, then serve.
- Red Pepper Gazpacho: For a different taste, use red pepper (fresh or fire-roasted) instead of the green pepper, and replace the parsley with dried cilantro. I also prefer red wine vinegar over the sherry vinegar when using the red peppers.
- Spicy Gazpacho: To spice things up, try a medium salsa instead of the mild, and swirl in Sriracha sauce before serving.
- Look for really, really ripe tomatoes, or leave on the windowsill to ripen. The additional juice really ramps up the flavor and texture.
- If you don't mind raw onion and raw garlic, replace the salsa with 1/4 chopped onion, and replace the garlic powder with a clove, chopped.
- I don't like a lot of prep time when I'm dieting as being in the kitchen makes me hungry! So don't peel the fresh vegetables, or remove the seeds, or blanch them. I just rough cut them into chunks and add directly to the blender.
- Fresh herbs can always be substituted for the dried.
- Make sure the salsa you're using has no added sugar. It should be about 5 calories per tablespoon.
- Same with the tomato juice. Look for a basic juice with about 45 calories per cup.
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|Serving size: 1 cup|
|Calories from Fat||0|
|% Daily Value *|
|Fat 0 g|
|* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.|
The Andalusia Region of Spain
Gazpacho originated in Andalusia, a hot, dry region of southern Spain. Thought to have Arab roots, a traditional gazpacho combines tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, onions, and garlic with stale bread, olive oil, and vinegar. Often, the vegetables are crushed with a mortar and pestle to add texture and to avoid the foaminess from using a blender or food processor.
Not surprisingly, Andalusia is home to other cold soups, including:
- Salmorejo, a thick, creamy cold tomato soup, similar to gazpacho but omitting the peppers, cucumber, onions, and garlic. Often garnished with chopped ham and eggs
- Ajo Blanco, a cold almond and garlic white soup made without vegetables and served with grapes and melon.