Thursday, August 30, 2012

Light Cucumber Gazpacho

For the past 6 months I've been learning about Ayurveda.  I was introduced to it through my Yoga Teacher Training and was fortunate enough to be able to attend the free clinic at The Ayurvedic Institute in Albuquerque, NM.  If you are interested in learning more about Ayurveda here is a short article written by Dr. Lad, the founder of the Institute: Dr. Lad Article.  I've been integrating some of the food guidelines into my life.

This Light Cucumber Gazpacho is from Ayurvedic Cooking for Westerners: Familiar Western Food Prepared with Ayurvedic Principles by Amadea Morningstar.  It's one of my favorite recipes from this book.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do! I made a few tweaks to the recipe because of what my body was telling me it did or didn't want and what we had in the house.

Light Cucumber Gazpacho
1 fresh leek
3 smallish cucumbers
1/2 cup fresh Italian Parsley
1 lemon, juiced
1 cup water
1/4 cup EVOO
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/16 teaspoon cayenne or omit if you don't want the kick
1/8 teaspoon black pepper, ground

Wash and slice the fresh leek, make sure to get all the dirt out from between the layers, it's really good at hiding in there.  Put the leek slices into a steamer over a pot of boiling water.  Cover the pot and steam for about 5 minutes.  This will calm the pungency.  When the leeks are wilted remove from the heat and set it aside to cool.  While the leeks are cooking wash, peel, and seed the cucumbers and cut them into largish pieces.  Wash and chop the parsley.

Put the cucumber, parsley, and leek into the blender.  Add lemon juice, water, EVOO, salt, cayenne, and black pepper.  Blend for about 20 to 30 seconds until the soup is smooth.  Chill the soup in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes before serving.

Ayurveda: Calms Vata and Pitta, has a neutral effect on Kapha. (Add extra cayenne for Kapha.) This dish is best in the summer.

Next time I'm going to try it without the cayenne pepper to see how the flavor of the cucumber comes out.  

 We paired our Light Cucumber Gazpacho with our Grilled Manchego Sandwich with Arugula, Mushrooms, and Snow Peas.

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