Healing Foods: Vegan Gazpacho

If you think you're not a fan of gazpacho, you're not alone. It sounds good, looks good, and can be really healthy for you if you skip the recipes that call for white bread, but most of the time just tastes like you're eating really garlicky salsa off a spoon.

I, however, have perfected my gazpacho recipe to the point that I actually crave it for lunch, especially in the summer. And since I'm always on the lookout for soft vegan foods in case I'm having another TMJ flare-up (like right now,) gazpacho is one quick, easy way to get my raw veggies for the day in a delicious little bowl of soup. My gazpacho tastes more like a fresh tomato-cucumber-celery soup and less like sweet, garlicky salsa.

There are a ton of different variations on gazpacho, so feel free to add garlic, basil, hot peppers, or whatever other seasonings or raw veggies sound good to you and that you have on hand. Experiment! You might even come up with a version of your own that you like better.

Vegan Gazpacho

(Gluten-free, sugar free, vegan and raw except for the veggie bouillon. Can't beat that.)

1 medium-large ripe tomato (the riper the better)
2/3 cup cucumber, cut into large chunks
1 stalk celery
1/2 cup red bell pepper, cut into large chunks
1 green onion, sliced
1/2 TBS olive oil
1/2 TBS fresh lemon juice
Salt to taste (you probably won't need more than 1/16 of a teaspoon, so salt carefully)
1/4 tsp all-purpose seasoning (I use Bragg's Organic 24 Herbs & Spices seasoning)
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/2 cup water + 1/4 tsp vegetable bouillon (I use Better Than Bouillon Organic Vegetable Base. You could also just use prepared vegetable broth.)

Place all ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend for about 1 minute or until desired consistency. Chill or eat immediately. Makes about 1 1/2 cups soup.

Optional garnishes: chopped tomato, cucumber, bell pepper, green onion, parsley, basil, dill, and/or black pepper.