Thursday, April 11, 2013

IHCC: Green Gazpacho

This week the I Heart Cooking Clubs theme was "Loving the Leaf."  Participants had to cook an Ottolenghi recipe featuring or using a leafy green.  I again referred to his cookbook Plenty and found this recipe for Green Gazpacho.  This soup has many green veggies in it including baby spinach!  To be honest, I'm not a huge soup eater.  I don't mind a cup of soup, but something has to be served with it.  To me, soup is not a meal!  I also knew that my kids would most likely not enjoy this, so I had to have a back-up.  I ended up making Hawaiian Pizza Grilled Cheese Sandwiches to go with this (see tomorrow's post!).  Yes, the two don't really compliment each other.  But I saw the sandwich recipe and knew it would be quick and easy to put together.  This recipe wasn't difficult to make, it just requires a lot of chopping.  I ended up adapting the recipe a bit, mainly in amounts of ingredients, substitutions (sherry and cider vinegar in place of sherry vinegar, and I didn't make the homemade croutons).  I probably should have used the immersion blender because I was really pushing the limits with my regular blender.  I had to spoon some of the soup out to add the rest of the ice and water!  I made the kids have 5 bites of the soup (to get in their veggies!) but they didn't like it.  Honestly, I have to admit that my husband and I weren't huge fans of this soup either.  He said it tasted more like a sauce than a soup.  I kind of felt like I was drinking a more liqueified pesto!  The original recipe called for 4 cloves of garlic!  I like garlic, but cut it down to two cloves.  Still, the garlic seemed to overwhelm the soup.  I should have used the whole jalapeno to add a little more heat and next time (although I won't be making this again!) I would use less walnuts.  I thought 1 1/2 cups was a bit much when I was pouring them into the blender!  They added a funny texture to the soup that I didn't enjoy.  Well, I can't expect all of Ottolenghi's recipes to be winners.  There's always next week!   

Green Gazpacho
recipe slightly adapted from Plenty:  Vibrant Vegetable Recipes from London's Ottolenghi

1 green pepper, deseeded
1 1/2 cucumbers, peeled
3 slices stale white bread, crusts removed
1/2 jalapeno pepper
2 garlic cloves
1 tsp sugar
1 1/2 cups walnuts, lightly toasted
4 cups baby spinach
1 cup basil leaves
2 Tbsp parsley
2 Tbsp sherry
2 Tbsp cider vinegar
3/4 cup olive oil
3 Tbsp Greek yogurt
about 2 cups water
6 ice cubes
2 tsp salt

Roughly chop up the pepper, cucumbers, bread, jalapeno, and garlic. Place in a blender and add the sugar, walnuts, spinach, basil, parsley, sherry, vinegar, oil, yogurt, most of the water, half the ice cubes, the salt and some white pepper. Blitz the soup until smooth. Add more water, if needed, to get your preferred consistency. Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning.

Lastly, add the remaining ice and pulse once or twice, just to crush it a little.

Family Rating: So-so.


  1. Hi Nancy,
    Sorry to hear that your family did not enjoy this soup. Each time when I try a new recipe, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the family will like it! Hope your next one will be a winner.
    Have a great weekend!

  2. It can be a gamble trying new recipes. Sorry this one didn't work out. Have to agree with you--I thought it looked like pesto too! I'm also with you on soup in general. I never feel like it's a meal.

  3. I applaud you for your honesty on this soup ... looking at the recipe, the ingredient list is full of healthy stuff ... looks intriguing, but when all is said and done, if it doesn't make your taste buds jump up and down, you're right to shelve it. I hope the next one you choose to make hits the spot!

  4. I am sorry you didn't enjoy this one. Normally I am a fan of soup and gazpacho but it has to be the right recipe. Hope the next recipe you make works out better! ;-)

  5. What a shame you didn't enjoy this one, Nancy. I've had this one bookmarked ever since I bought the book. I'm actually not a huge soup fan either, though I am more than happy to have it as a meal when I do make it. I certainly appreciate your honesty, though I have to say this recipe still appeals to me enough to give it a go - must do that very soon I think, before we are in the depths of winter. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  6. I'm not a huge fan of cold soup, but this looked interesting. It's tough when you put time into something and the family doesn't like it. Better luck with next week's recipe! :)

  7. Sorry to hear that it wasn't a hit, but I have to say that from time to time I enjoy a recipe failure. I always find that I really learn what works and what doesn't and it helps me narrow down what we do like. Truth be told, I have this recipe tagged to make, but I know that my husband and children would not like it at all. It looks absolutely gorgeous though!