Gazpacho With Quinoa Croutons

Written by Eydie Desser

Gazpacho is a super energizing and refreshing first course on a warm summer day. It originated from Andalusia, southern Spain where day laborers working in vineyards, olive plantations, citrus groves, & wheat fields were given rations of bread and oil for their meals. Bread soaked in water made a simple soup, to which oil, garlic &  salt were added for flavor, plus whatever fresh vegetables were available–usually, tomatoes, peppers & cucumbers. This soup helped increase the energy for the workers in the hot sun. Garden of Eydie changed the recipe to increase the nutrient density of the foods and made it even more delicious than the original.

We replaced the processed bread with white quinoa, which has a delicate taste and is chewier, like bread, compared to the other varieties of quinoa. We cooked the white quinoa and added it to the soup instead of bread, and WOW!  the texture is even lighter and more interesting than soaked bread! We also created amazingly delicious Quinoa bread croutons for garnish amongst freshly cut colorful tomatoes, and voila, Garden of Eydie healthier and even more delicious Gazpacho was born!

Ingredients

For the Quinoa Bread Croutons:

  • 1/4 cup raw white quinoa (makes 3/4 cup cooked)
  • 2 tsp. sweet smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp. powdered garlic

For the Gazpacho:

  • 2-½ lbs plum tomatoes (about 6-8), peeled, seeded and diced
  • 1 medium sized cucumber ( 5-oz.), peeled, seeded and diced
  • 1 small red bell pepper (3-½ oz.), membrane and seeds removed, diced
  • ½ small red onion (2-½ oz.), diced
  • 1 large garlic clove, peeled and minced
  • 2 TB sherry vinegar (can use red wine vinegar), or more to taste
  • Pinch of salt just before serving (optional)

Optional Garnishes:

Quinoa bread croutons, freshly chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, chiffonade (finely sliced) basil or other herbs, sprinkling of sweet smoked paprika or red pepper flakes

Instructions

To be made a few hours in advance of serving:

Make the Quinoa:

1- Pour the quinoa into a nut bag and rinse until the water runs clear. Squeeze out as much water as possible, and place the bag of quinoa onto a dry towel.  Fold the towel over the bag and with your hands, roll the towel over the wet quinoa to dry it. 

2- Pour dried quinoa into a small pot, add 3/4- cup of water, the smoked paprika and powdered garlic.  Bring to a boil and lower heat to simmer. Cook the quinoa for about 10 minutes or until the water is absorbed.

3- Remove the pot from the burner and cover to allow the quinoa to steam for 5 minutes.

4- Remove cooked quinoa from the pot to a small bowl.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to make the gazpacho.

Marinate the Gazpacho Ingredients:

(1 hour or longer)

1- Place the chopped tomatoes, cucumber, red bell pepper, red onion, garlic and sherry into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate to “marinate” for at least 1 hour, or longer if you have time.

Make the Gazpacho:

1- Place half of the cooked quinoa into the blender and blend for 15-30 seconds to break down the quinoa seeds, just a bit. 

2- Add the marinated  gazpacho ingredients into the blender with the quinoa, and blend until the vegetables are mostly a smooth consistency, about 30-45 seconds.  

3- Pour gazpacho into a glass container, cover and chill.  Don’t rinse out the blender.

Make the Quinoa Croutons:

1- Scoop the other half of the reserved cooked quinoa into the blender container and add 2 TB of blended gazpacho.  Blend until combined, about 30 seconds. Remove the quinoa from the blender and on a parchment lined small sheet pan, spread the quinoa mixture into a 1”  thick rectangle.  Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes or so, to congeal.

2- Preheat the oven to 400℉

3- Remove the chilled quinoa from the refrigerator and cut into 1” squares, right on the parchment lined sheet pan.  Separate the croutons to give them space to brown

4- Place in the preheated oven and bake for 12 minutes. Turn over and bake for another 4 minutes.

5- Remove croutons to a cooling rack.

To Serve:

Pour chilled gazpacho into pretty bowls, and garnish with fresh chopped tomatoes and cucumber, basil, sprinkling of smoked paprika, whatever you wish.  “Tear” the quinoa croutons like bread and place amongst chopped vegetables.  Add chiffonade  of basil and a sprinkling of sweet smoked paprika or red pepper flakes, and optional pinch of salt.

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