Photo by Stacey Ballis

Just, like, so chill

Stacey Ballis
July 23, 2018

Smoothies and juice drinks are lovely fresh drinkable meals that you can take on the go. But for me, many of these are just too sweet (I'm diabetic) and I generally prefer a slightly more savory start to my day. Likewise, being summer, gazpacho is everywhere. It's the ideal starter for a light supper or a luncheon, a sippable chilled soup that is easy to make and takes advantage of the abundance of fresh produce. But while I would never say no to soup for breakfast, regular gazpacho has a bit too much garlic and onion for me to kick off my day when my system is a bit tender from the long night’s fast.

That's why I developed this breakfast gazpacho, a great balance of sweet and savory, minimal prep for a blender meal, and a perfect balance of carbs, protein and healthy fat, which makes it feel virtuous. It replaces a lot of volume of the fruit usually found in smoothies with cucumber, which is refreshing and a mild base for the soup. Honeydew melon is my favorite, but I know that some people have very strong anti-honeydew sentiments, and you should feel free to swap it out for cantaloupe, watermelon, or even green grapes or kiwi if you prefer. And where most smoothies use dairy for liquid, I’ve used vegetable stock and vinegar which keeps it light (and accidentally vegan). Finally Marcona almonds, those lovely oily Spanish beauties, and extra virgin olive oil add healthy protein and richness. Mint is a good wake up, but dill, tarragon, chervil or sorrel are also great in this. And it lasts up to four days in the fridge, so make a bigger batch and just give it a good shake before serving.

Whether it is just a quick weekday morning breakfast for two in to-go cups, or an elegant part of a summer weekend brunch, this adaptable morning chilled soup will start you off on the right foot. If you want to up the ante a bit to serve at lunch or dinner, try adding a splash of dry sherry, a half a shallot, and maybe a clove of garlic to the mix to punch it up a bit.

Breakfast Melon Gazpacho

Serves 2 (can multiply up to serve a crowd)

Ingredients

1 cup chopped peeled English cucumbers
1 cup chopped honeydew melon
3/4 cup Marcona almonds (you can sub blanched regular almonds, but you might need more oil)
1/2 tablespoon chopped mint
3/4 cup cold vegetable stock
1/4 cup mild extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Salt and white pepper to taste

Directions

Put the cucumbers, melon, almonds, mint, and stock into the blender and puree until very smooth. With the motor running, drizzle olive oil into soup until it emulsifies. Taste for seasoning and add salt and white pepper. The gazpacho should be smooth and creamy, if slightly grainy. Add vinegar and puree on high for another minute.

If you are serving as a soup and not drinking as a morning smoothie, garnish with a drizzle of olive oil, diced cucumber, chopped almonds, and chopped mint.

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