Thursday, July 24, 2008

Gazpacho - The Soup of Champions

Good news today from scientists at Tufts University. I was glad to read this account of their research about the healthful benefits of gazpacho.

I have loved gazpacho for decades, partly owing to my good taste (like Charlie the Tuna), but also owing partly to the fact my Dad was a very good gardener and for years I had a copious supply of not only fresh, home-grown tomatoes but home-grown, home-canned.

When I embarked on a weight losing, calorie counting regimen 16 months ago, gazpacho and vegetable soups made up about half of my diet for months. I would typically make 7 or 8 cups of gazpacho, 4 or 5 times a week. Oftentimes a batch wouldn't last 24 hours.

I have several different recipes but I could probably make it with my eyes closed. I like to call mine Texpacho both because I like it chunky (I've found a meal, especially a meatless meal, is much more satisfying if there's something to masticate - no pureeing for me) and spicy, though without any heat other than a little black pepper is good too. It's more of a stew than a soup the way I make it.

I wish there were more restaurants in Houston that served gazpacho. Heck, even fast food restaurants should offer it as a more healthful option. I have a list of places to try and would appreciate any suggestions.

Here are some of the places I've heard that offer gazpacho: Rustica, Yapa, Crickets, Kraftsman, Catalan, Café Red Onion, and, of course, Cafe Express.

And make that a bowl, please, a big bowl, not a six ounce cup.

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