Raw Gazpacho

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P1150577 Last week, on one of the hottest days of the year I was treated to a beautiful dinner created by a very talented friend. We feasted on summer salads, smoothies and a ever so spicy chilled soup to start. The next day I could think of nothing other than the refreshing, cooling and slightly spicy glass of coconut based gazpacho as I sat overheating in the garden. I tried to get hold of the recipe but impatience got the better of me and I just had to find another way to get my fix! I decided to opt for a traditional gazpacho base of tomato and basil but decided to mix things up and keep it raw (purely because I didn't want to have to wait for it to cool!).

I was cooking for a friend and we both fancied something with a real kick but the chilli really is optional. I added a red pepper for sweetness, as well as mixing in some cherry tomatoes as they tend to be a little more sugary to taste than regular tomatoes. The cucumber helps to get the right consistency, thinning out the gazpacho with a refreshing flavour rather than adding water. This soup lasts so well in the fridge and I made a big batch to keep for lunch over the next few days of 'heat wave'. I really like to have a little bit of texture with my soup so I served it with perfectly ripe avocado which worked like a dream, totally complementing the creamy soup while adding a little bite.

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Ingredients (serves 4)

650g of cherry tomatoes
400g of regular tomatoes
1 chilli
1 red pepper
1/3 cucumber
1 avocado
basil to garnish
1 teaspoon of cumin
salt and pepper to taste
Roughly chop the tomatoes, red pepper and cucumber, then place them in a blender. Add the cumin and whizz. If it struggles to get going, add a tablespoon or two of water, although the cucumber and tomato juice should provide enough liquid for the blender to work well.
Add the chilli little by little until you get your spice level right and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Place the gazpacho in the fridge to cool if necessary.
Finely slice the avocado and divide between the servings. Then add a sprig of basil and enjoy!
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SoupsAnnie Clarke