Cucumber Gazpacho with spiced croutons for Food Network’s Summer fest

Cucumbers, strawberries, watermelon, mangoes, zucchini, yellow squash…etc…what do they indicate???? Of course SUMMER! :)

Courtesy: Food network

Food Network is hosting a Summer Fest 2011 this year and I am so excited to participate in their event and share my Summer Fest recipes with you all.

That means every time when I participate in the Summer Fest, my recipe’s link will be shared on Food Network!!! I am just soooo thrilled to be a part of something which is hosted by Food network…wohooo!!

So this is how “Summer Fest” works. Every other week we have to create and publish one recipe using a main ingredient given by food network for the Summer Fest. How exciting and challenging!  This week’s main ingredient is “Cucumber“.  Till yesterday I was like ahhh..it is just a cucumber I will just make ______hmmmmm…..I was actually blank! I knew I can make raita, salad or my mom’s cucumber curry out of it. But I wanted to create something different that I have never tried before. So after getting some inspiration from other food blogs and tastespotting, finally I figured out that I should make Gazpacho! Which is totally refreshing, perfect for this HOT summer and on the top of it, it is very very easy to make.

Courtesy: Rocky mountain flat bread company

So what is Gazpacho? Gazpacho is a cold Spanish soup made of raw vegetables, herbs, spices and a bit of pure olive oil. It was originated in Spain.

To make Gazpacho, all you need to do is to blend some fresh vegetables in a blender, add some spices, herbs and let it chill in refrigerator for an hour and it’s ready!

So this is what I came up with - Cucumber Gazpacho with spiced croutons. I made cucumber gazpacho with avocado, garlic scapes (fresh mild garlic) and jalapeño to add some spicy kick. Avocado gives it a nice creamy texture as well as it works as a natural soup thickener. I have also used some fresh mint and freshly squeezed lime juice to balance the flavors. Traditional recipe of Gazpacho is based on tomatoes and other fresh vegetables and they use stale bread as a natural thickener(WP).

To garnish my Gazpacho, I prepared some spicy croutons and jalapeño spiced sour cream. Croutons will give it nice crunchy texture and sour cream will make it bit more creamy. But sour cream is completely optional.

I hope you will enjoy my recipe of Cucumber Gazpacho in this hot summer..it is perfect for lunch/dinner :) All you need to do is blend some vegetables in a blender along with some spices and herbs and let it chill in refrigerator for an hour or so and your lunch/dinner is ready. How easy is that?

Cucumber Gazpacho

Yields: 2 servings

Total time: 1 hour (Don’t freak out, it includes 50 minutes of chilling time)

Ingredients

  • 1 cucumbers, peeled and diced (Remove seeds if you prefer)
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 1 tsp chopped and seeded  jalapeño
  • 1 garlic scape, chopped (If you can’t find it, use 1 tsp of chopped garlic)
  • 1 ripe avocados chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh mint leaves chopped
  • 1 Tbsp chopped onion (Optional if you do not like the taste of raw onions)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

To garnish:

  • Spiced croutons – recipe follows
  • Jalapeno spiced sour cream- recipe follows

Method: 

In a blender, blend all the ingredients. Season, to taste, with salt/pepper. Cover and refrigerate for about an hour or until next day. Serve it with spiced croutons and a dollop of jalapeño spiced sour cream. Enjoy!

Spiced Croutons – You can make this a day earlier and store it in a air tight container or you can use store-bought one.

  • 1 slice of bread cubed – I used multigrain one
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • Salt to taste
  • A pinch of paprika or more if desired

Heat the butter in a saucepan or straight-sided skillet. Add bread cubes and saute, stirring constantly, until lightly browned. Season and serve.

Jalapeno spiced sour cream (This is completely optional)

  • Sour cream – 2 Tbsp
  • 1/2 Tbsp minced jalapeno
  • 1/8 tsp garlic salt/salt
Mix jalapeno and garlic salt with sour cream. And serve over the cucumber gazpacho.
Summer fest information:
If you are a food blogger and if you are interested to take part with us in a Summer fest, got to http://blog.foodnetwork.com/fn-dish/2011/06/17/summer-fest-is-about-to-begin/ for more information.
Plus here is the schedule for the 2011 Summer fest: 

Courtesy: Food network

  • June 22: Eggplant – missed this one!
  • July 6: Peaches – missed this one too!!
  • July 20: Cucumbers
  • August 3: Cherries
  • August 17: Corn
  • August 13: Tomatoes
  • September 14: Broccoli
Also check out my fellow blogger’s creation with Cucumber :)
Enjoy!

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