Gazpacho is a “liquid salad” that combines the thirst-quenching virtues of a cold drink with the nourishment of a salad. Probably originating in Andalusia, Spain, it is a chilled, tomato-based raw vegetable soup with ancient roots. Many gazpacho recipes include stale bread or watermelon; this recipe is an adaptation that is fermented with salt and whey. Gazpacho is a perfect way to make a nourishing meal and still keep your kitchen cool in the summer months, and is a great use for the many vine-ripened tomatoes that may be coming out of your garden or farmers’ market. It is quick and easy to assemble ahead of time in quantities suitable for a crowd. To make it a complete meal, serve it topped with chopped hard-boiled egg and ham.
- 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
- 4 tomatoes, seeded and diced
- 2 peppers, diced
- 1 small red onion, minced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 to 1 cup fresh herbs such as cilantro, basil, parsley, or chives, minced
- 24-ounces vegetable juice (preferably organic)
- 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Juice of one lime (optional)
- Hot sauce to taste (optional)
- Pinch of chipotle powder (optional)
- Whey reserved from cultured dairy projects
- Sea salt
- Mix vegetables, liquids (except whey), and seasonings (except salt) together in a large bowl. For a smoother gazpacho, puree part or all of the mixture in the food processor.
- Place the gazpacho mixture in quart jars and add 4 Tbsp. whey and 1 Tbsp. salt to each quart.
- Allow mixture to sit for 2 days at room temperature, then transfer to cold storage.
Serve with a dollop of tzatziki , chopped avocados, or the traditional topping of egg and ham.