Chilled Citrus-Verbena Gazpacho

June 14, 2012 3:36 PM EDT | By Staff Writer
Chilled Verbena Citrus Gazpacho
Gazpacho is the perfect way to enjoy a Saturday afternoon in your garden or on your roof! (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Chilled Citrus Gazpacho

by Staff Writer

Waiter, there's a grapefruit in my soup! Just in time for summer, we're serving up an ice-cold gazpacho soup inspired by all those clean, cool citrus scents that waft out of L'Occitane storefronts along the Bleecker Street promenade. No need to worry if you can't find the verbena. Just omit the lemon as well, substituting it for lime instead, and this soup will still be transcendent.

Two Days Before You Serve:

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Press two lemons against your countertop with your hand and give them a nice, good roll. This loosens the juice from the sides of the lemon, making sure you get more bang for your buck and, more importantly, precious food doesn't go to waste.

Very quickly, over light heat, toast a handful of whole verbena flowers. Add them to the fresh-squeezed lemon juice. Put it in the fridge.

One Day Before You Serve: 

Take the flowers out of the lemon-verbena mix, leaving inside any loose petals that may have come apart in the steeping.

Add the following foods to your food processor and pulse very, very lightly:

1 grapefruit, chopped into very big cubes

1 tomato, chopped

1 green pepper, chopped

1 red pepper, chopped

1 tomatillo, chopped

2 oranges, chopped

Half a red onion, chopped

3 tablespoons of fresh cilantro, chopped

3 cloves of garlic, chopped

1/2 cup of low-sodium V8 or plain tomato juice (adding more if needed)

1/2 cup of vegetable broth (adding more if needed)

Your lemon-verbana infusion 

2 tsp of Cholula brand hot sauce

Salt and Pepper

If it's not as soupy as you want, add more of the tomato juice and the vegetable broth. Once it's pulsed to the right consistency, add salt and pepper until just under-salted. Put it in the fridge and let sit overnight.

The Day You Serve:

Taste. If you still feel it needs more salt and pepper, add more. But since the flavor changes overnight, you'll be dealing with an entirely different taste that calls for an entirely different amount of salt and pepper. Just something to keep in mind!

Enjoy! And as it's vegan/vegetarian friendly AND gluten-free (check for cross-contamination), feel free to serve it to just about anyone!


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