Anything this green makes me feel like it can negate all of the damage that my vices have ever done to me. A double shot of this soup (which also doubles as a juice or a smoothie, depending on how loose your definition of either of those words is) makes me feel like I’ve warded off enough evils to justify a weekend of unbridled debauchery and alimentary hedonism. And quite frankly, anything this vibrantly green and chlorophyll-filled (chlorofilled, if you will) has the right to taste like a garbage bag of lawn trimmings, but guess what?? This shit actually tastes REALLY good. One of my favourite things about this gazpacho/juice/smoothie/magic, is that I always brace myself before drinking it – somehow thinking that it will have become completely unpalatable in my absence – and am then quickly reminded how punchy and delicious the flavours actually are. The arugula cuts a delightfully sharp line of bitterness (a flavor that could be downplayed by doing half spinach, half arugula if bitterness is not your thing), the vinegar brightens everything up with some much-needed acidity, and the herbs come in with their subtle sweetness. Plus the olive oil gives the whole thing some much needed fat, so that if by chance you were so devastatingly ill (read: hungover) that liquids were your only option, you’d still be getting something other than just roughage into your system by pouring this down your gullet.
So go…be free…eat and drink with wanton abandon. Just remember to make a batch of the green stuff before retiring to your bed.
Adapted from Bon Appetit (August 2017)
Makes about 1 ½ litres of gazpacho
2 lb English cucumbers (roughly 3 large)
2 cloves of garlic, smashed
2 cups washed, coarsely chopped arugula (or ½ arugula, ½ spinach)
1 cup coarsely chopped basil
1 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
3-4 tbsp sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
¾ cup olive oil
Puree cucumber, garlic, and ½ cup water in a blender until very smooth. Add the arugula/spinach, basil, parsley, vinegar, and a large pinch of kosher salt. Puree, scraping down the sides every 30 seconds or so, until very smooth. With the blender still running, slowly add the oil in a thin stream, blending until emulsified. Taste the gazpacho and season aggressively with more vinegar and/or salt if needed. I found that more of both was necessary, especially vinegar. Cold foods need to have stronger flavours than foods that will be served warm or at room temperature, so take that into account when seasoning the unchilled soup. Transfer the gazpacho to an airtight container and chill overnight, or up to 5 days. The colour will become less bright as time goes on, but arguably the flavours actually improve with a bit of time.
Shake/stir the gazpacho well. Taste and adjust the seasoning of the gazpacho prior to serving. Pour into shot glasses or stubby cocktail glasses and drink while very cold. Feel virtuous enough to justify having 2 glasses of wine at lunch.