On the season’s first 95-degree day, everyone clamored for gazpacho. The quizzical looks when I served it told me they expected it to be red: pureed tomatoes with flecks of cucumbers, peppers, scallions and garlic. Nope. Too early for homegrown tomatoes, I said, but green gazpacho is just as good. They were convinced as soon as they tasted it since it had a familiar texture from the vegetables and tang from the sherry vinegar. And it was refreshingly cold.
This gazpacho makes use of our over-abundance of garlic scapes, as well as the first scallions and cucumbers of the season. A handful each of pea shoots and spinach leaves kept the mixture looking bright green. Instead of the traditional addition of bread to smooth this out, I used a ripe avocado and a little plain yogurt. Though I was winging the ingredients, pureeing them in the food processor in batches, the two-hour chill allowed the flavors to meld together nicely into a memorable summer soup.
Green Gazpacho with Garlic Scapes and Pea Shoots
1 large cucumber, unpeeled if the skin is thing, seeded and chopped
3-4 scallions, white and tender green sections
1 c garlic scapes cut in short lengths
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
1 small bunch of parsley, including the tender stems
A few sprigs of mint and basil
A handful of pea shoots (or not)
About 2 c chopped spinach leaves, well washed, or use baby spinach
Flesh of 1 avocado
½ c plain yogurt
2 tbsp sherry vinegar
Salt to taste
Puree the vegetables all together in a food processor, adding enough water to create a soupy consistency. You may need to do this in batches, placing the puree in a large bowl as you go Add the yogurt, stirring to combine well, the sherry vinegar and salt to taste. Chill for at least two hours. Serves 6-8.