A heat wave swept across the nation last week. Watching the morning news, I saw that almost all areas of the country were plagued with 90+ degree weather. For many of you, you're used to these super high temps, but for us Vermonters, this is not a welcome change.
For us, heat equals humidity which equals a resounding “ugh”. So hot that it's hard to step outside. Being in the kitchen is the farthest thing from you mind. Can you imagine, cooking in that kind of heat? So when it comes to dinner, all you want is a cooling and refreshing meal, that most importantly is easy to make.
Gazpacho hails from Spain and is a delicious tomato based soup, that is loaded with fresh veggies, and is super light and delicious. If you're not already familiar with gazpacho, then you probably think I'm crazy. Soup in heat like this? Oh yes friend, we're absolutely eating soup in heat like this.
The beauty of gazpacho is that it's served chilled. Cool, refreshing and perfect for a hot steamy night. Plus it's incredibly easy to make and you can pretty much use any ingredients or flavor combination you would like.
This soup also needed a little quinoa lovin' like many of my recipes do, so I decided to top it with a little quinoa crouton for added protein and some pizzazz.
How did you escape the heat?
Watermelon Gazpacho with Quinoa Croutons
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Combine all the gazpacho ingredients into a medium mixing bowl and stir to combine.
- Add half the mixture to a food processor or blender, and blend until smooth. Transfer to another mixing bowl and set aside.
- Add the remaining soup ingredients into the food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. You can puree the soup as well, but I like it a little chunky. Combine this with the rest of the mixture and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
- While the soup is chilling prepare your croutons by combining the quinoa, flax egg and spices in a small bowl and mixing together with a wooden spoon.
- Heat the oil in a fry pan over medium heat and with wet hands, form the quinoa mixture into little balls, dropping them into the hot pan.
- Cook 2 - 3 minutes, carefully flipping them over (be very gentle because they are super fragile), cooking another 2 - 3 minutes on the other side.
- Once the croutons are nicely browned and slightly crispy (they won't be fully crisped in the pan), transfer them to the baking sheet and bake in the center of a warmed oven for 15 minutes or until they're nice a crispy.
- Cool on a wire rack (or on the baking sheet) which will let them crisp up even more.
- Remove the soup from the fridge and serve. Garnish with quinoa croutons and enjoy.
- Embrace the heat with a nice chilled soup!
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