Recipe: Spicy Cucumber Gazpacho

Taking stock of our terrace harvest the other night we realized there was a glut of cucumbers and jalapenos. Silka turned to one of our favorite recipe selection techniques, which is to Google the ingredients on hand and see what comes up. This time we clicked on a recipe for spicy cucumber gazpacho. We were initially hesitant because, as a good friend once said, "gazpacho is just blended salad." But there was no cooking involved and we were feeling lazy, so we thought we'd go for it.

Are we glad we did! On top of it's brilliant color, the soup was unbelievably refreshing and had the perfect amount of spice. Plus it was super light, so we didn't feel too bad about polishing off a whole batch in one go. 

Spicy Cucumber Gazpacho
Adapted from The Luna Cafe

+ 2 English cucumbers, peeled and chopped (4 cups chopped) - we used Kirby, and it was still great!
+ 1 green bell pepper, chopped
+ 3 green onions, trimmed and cut into 1-inch lengths
+ 2 jalapeno chiles, halved lengthwise and seeded
+ small handful Italian parsley
+ small handful spearmint or lemon verbena leaves
+ 2 large cloves garlic, peeled and minced or pressed
+ ½ cup chicken stock, or water, plus a little extra just in case
+ ¼ cup olive oil
+ 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
+ 2 tablespoons lemon juice
+ several drops of Tabasco Green Pepper Sauce
+ 1 teaspoon salt

The original recipe offers directions for a garnish, but we like to forgo the decoration and start eating as soon as possible.

1. Put the cucumber, bell pepper, green onions, jalapeno chiles, parsley, spearmint or lemon verbena, and garlic into a blender and liquefy.
2. Add the stock, olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, Tabasco, and salt. Pulse to combine.
3. Taste and adjust the balance of salt and lemon juice if needed.
4. Adjust the thickness of the soup by adding a little more chicken stock if needed.
5. Chill for at least two hours.
6. Just before serving, pour the soup into individual cups. Top each serving with a tiny sprig of spearmint or lemon verbena.

Makes 2 quarts; serves 6.

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