Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Greek Goddess Gazpacho ~ glow from the inside out


 
If you like Greek salad, you will fall in love with this Greek inspired summer gazpacho.

And there are plenty of reasons to be enamoured.

Made from plump seasonal tomatoes, juicy Kalamata olives and silky feta cheese, this cooling, no-cook soup will not only refresh you, it may also help protect your skin from sun damage.

The radiant summer months offer plenty of opportunities to dose up on vitamin D but too much of the sun's powerful rays, can give rise to skin damage and premature aging.

We all know that the best way to avoid skin damage is to apply a quality sun block throughout the day and wear suitable clothing and a good sun hat.

But here’s something else.  There is a natural sun protector found in our diet that may also help prevent sun damage.  It is the carotenoid known as lycopene. 

Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant found primarily in cooked tomato, watermelon and pink grapefruit.  It has been linked to the reduction of prostate cancer and cardiovascular disease and more recently, to a reduction in photodamage caused by the sun. 

In a recent study published in the British Journal of Dermatology, scientists from the University of Manchester revealed that lycopene found in tomato paste offered skin protection against ultraviolet radiation by inhibiting free radical damage and supporting collagen production.  The study also demonstrated that lycopene reduced damage to mitochondrial DNA.  A promising area of research indeed.

Even better?  You won't have to force yourself to finish a serving (or two) of this delicious soup!




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Greek Goddess Gazpacho ~ glow from the inside out
  • 5 ripe seasonal tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 English cucumber, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives
  • 1/2 cup or so feta cheese, try to find a soft variety
  • 1/4 cup purple onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh garden parsley
  • 4 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • Salt & pepper to taste (keeping in mind that feta cheese already contains ample sodium)

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Directions:

summer fresh delicious


Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor.  If you are working with a smaller machine, simply work in batches.

Blend until desired consistency is achieved and season to taste.  If you find the soup too thick for your taste, you can adjust by adding a little water, vegetable stock or olive oil, as desired.

Garnish with small pieces of chopped cucumber, onion, feta and olive.

As simple and wonderful as that ~



40 comments:

  1. Great recipe! Absolute perfection for the weather, and trust me, I need some help to glow at the moment.... ;-)

    I would have to omit the onions, though - raw onions and my beloved are not a good match. I wonder if a little fennel bulb would work well in its place?

    your recipes are always inspiring, so you picked a perfect name for your blog!

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  2. Thanks so much for your kind words Sally! Not everyone tolerates raw onions for sure - you could easily sub in chopped fennel, celery or bell pepper.

    Still thinking of your pups with a big smile on my face :) They'll keep you glowing!!

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  3. I love the idea of a Greek gazpacho - I tend to default to Mexican. Will have to try this out soon, as I need all the lycopene I can get after this past weekend's burn.

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  4. Mandy - The Complete Cook BookJuly 10, 2012 at 9:05 AM

    Sensational gazpacho Kelly! We eat loads of tomatoes, fresh, tinned, you name it!
    :-) Mandy

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  5. o yes, I love Greek salad. This looks really tasty and refreshing.

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  6. Love these facts about lycopene! Skin protection from the inside out! Can you believe I have never tried gazpacho?? What is wrong with me!? I saw some gorgeous heirloom tomatoes at the market last weekend, I can imagine their juicy flavour would be perfect for this!

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  7. Amy (Savory Moments)July 10, 2012 at 1:35 PM

    I've never actually had gazpacho, but I definitely should. This looks so good and perfect for this time of year.

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  8. You had me at Greek goddess! And then it gets better, all those health benefits. I toasted some delicious tomatoes on the BBQ last night, so good. I'm making this delightful soup on Saturday for lunch, perhaps with a grilled shrimp or two.

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  9. I adore Greek food and your Gazpacho is the essence of it :D
    It looks divine my friend, well done!

    Cheers
    CCU

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  10. That looks thick and gorgeous. I have had runny gazpachos before and enjoyed them but this looks even better.

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  11. Kelly,
    one of my dreams is coming to your house for DINNER someday! WOW, this looks too good to be Healthy.
    Xxx Kisses From Duluth.

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  12. Ingenious! What a great idea for a great summer soup. I love Greek salad and I am sure I will love this!

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  13. What a fantastic version of the perennial Spanish favourite! I love gazpacho, but have never tried it with feta and olives: those would make the wonderful fresh taste of this soup even more pronounced! Can't wait to try :) ! And the way you have plated it truly does give it a
    goddess look!

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  14. What a beautiful presentation of gazpacho! To be honest, I've never prepared it at home, but we like ordering it whenever we have a chance. All the nice summer veggies go in there. Lovely treat, Kelly!

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  15. I like everything about this gazpacho.

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  16. Gorgeous and healthy, as always! And of course with an original twist! I have never tasted gazpacho with feta. Your lovely gazpacho seems like a much better form of its intake than spreading tomatoes on one's face ;-) The beautiful leaf looks very intriguing. Is it edible?
    By the way, I have also heard that raw tomatoes have much less lycopene than a tomato sauce for example.

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  17. We can all use a little extra lycopene these days - I'm liking the watermelon source too :)

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  18. I was never a big gazpacho fan myself... it's just such a nice option - raw, simple, healthy - that I started playing around with it. You can come up with some pretty wonderful combinations that suit your taste! I hope the sun is shining on the West coast KoKo - we are having a spectacular summer here on the ON/Qc. side.

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  19. Haha! Would love to have you if you can tolerate our animal inhabited, fur covered home! :)

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  20. I love Greek salad too... I find myself whipping up a variation of it almost every week in the summer. Delish!!

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  21. Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments Eha! What a pleasure to have you visit. The Greek twist is a fun one for sure but you can fashion this into any variation of your choice - once the blender is out, the sky's the limit :)

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  22. Haha! Love the image of spreading tomatoes on faces... ! Yes, I prefer the edible method ;-) - cooked tomatoes indeed for lycopene availability.

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  23. I didn't realise that type of cucumber was called an English cucumber... or was it literally an English cucumber, as in "grown in England"? I know precisely nothing about cucumbers actually... apart from the small ones with thicker skin they all seem pretty much the same to me when I buy them (maybe because they are all the same :D)

    Beautiful looking soup - I love gazpacho... I've never tried to make it (preferring instead to invite myself over for great troughs of the stuff at my Spanish colleague's house). It looks so refreshing - perfect for a hot day!

    Did you try "ajo blanco" before? I think that's how it's spelt - cold garlic and ground almond soup - really great too!

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  24. Mike would absolutely love the flavors in this soup! Mr. N might too - although I'd have to get him to overlook the tomatoes first. They are both huge olive and feta fans. I'm usually not over the moon about olives, but mixed into this dish and it just might work for me. Plus anything with cider vinegar tends to win me over. :)

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  25. I'm 46 an I just got my first food processor!! Yaay :) This will be my first recipe :) Thanks Kelly, for being a constant source of inspiration for me!

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  26. i love gazpacho. love your touch of greek to it!

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  27. This is very inventive - I love this idea. I would never have thought to make sthis. Perfect too for this humid weather we are having here in Florida and elswhere I'm sure. BTW what is that leaf on the plate, I love it.

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  28. Thank you Fellow Foodie :) - you make my day when you drop in!

    p.s. 46 is a good number ;-)

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  29. Can you believe that there are over 100 varieties of cucumbers out there?!! When I can't find nice crunchy local ones, I opt for "English" - the longer, sweeter variety grown just about everywhere these days I believe.

    I've not tried ajo blanco...it sounds divine - please whip one up for us on your blog!

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  30. Too funny...two of my top loves: chocolate and olives are on your X list :-) - Good thing we see eye to eye on other important matters - hee.hee ;-).

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  31. Great gazpacho recipe! I can't wait to find some really good heirlooms at the growers' market. It's still a little early here. I am a Greek salad fan so the Kalamata and feta sound perfect for this soup! Definitely like the idea of glowing from the inside out! :)

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  32. As the temps start to creep up and up this is the perfect lunch that won't heat up the kitchen. Thank you for the natural sunblock !

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  33. Hi Kelly,
    I do love Greek salad so your gazpacho recipe has my mouth watering. Looks so refreshing and perfect for this heat.

    Glad connecting with you:)

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  34. Amy @ Elephant EatsJuly 11, 2012 at 9:30 PM

    What a fun twist on Gazpacho! I really need to make gazpacho, as it's one of my favorite summer foods. Hope you're staying cool!!

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  35. Hello!!
    My name is Danielle Zimmerman and I’m an editor for AllFreeCasseroleRecipes.com. I also contribute to recipelionblog.com. I just wanted to let you know that I linked out to your “Spicy Black Bean Mexican Casserole” recipe in my most recent blog post. Here’s the URL: http://blog.recipelion.com/sizzling-summer-mexican-casserole-recipes. I’ve browsed through your blog before and I have to say that all of your recipes look so delicious! If you’re interested, we’d love to feature more of your casserole-esque recipes on AllFreeCasseroleRecipes.com. Basically, what we do is give a short description of your recipe along with a picture and then link back to your site so that they can see the full recipe. If you’re interested in working together, just shoot me an email at dzimmerman@primecp.com!


    Danielle Zimmerman
    Editorial Intern
    dzimmerman@primecp.com
    Prime Publishing LLC
    3400 Dundee Road
    Northbrook, IL 60062
    847-205-9375 Main | 847-513-6099 Fax

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  36. Wow Kelly! I love gazpacho but get stuck in the rut of making it the same way every summer! This Greek version looks fabulous! The feta blends so nicely with all the other veggie flavors. And I just feel better after a cool bowl of this soup in the summer! Beautiful!

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  37. Yum, Kelly, I will be making this next week for my daughter. She love gazpacho but can't eat peppers - so many of the recipes have peppers to add flavor so I was thrilled to see that this one doesn't. Thanks! It sounds fabulous!

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  38. This is indeed such a wonderful dish, and even without knowing those amazing nutritional and dermatological benefits, I would still love to sip with this soup, I am fully aware how helpful tomatoes are, this food is indeed a gift from our creator to protect us from harmful toxins that attacks our bodies and skin, Thanks for this post.

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  39. Delicious and it keeps my skin healthy, can't beat that!

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Thank you for your feedback - it's wonderful to hear from you!