Cucumber Gazpacho (gluten free, vegan)

This has been a heartbreaking week. A crazy, busy, stressful, heartbreaking week. I’m not quite sure what is going on, but I do know that the nature of our world is that nothing lasts forever. This is comforting and also sad at the same time. In devastating news, nothing good stays forever, but in great news nothing bad stays forever either. The world and our experiences ebb and flow, become exciting and at times excruciating, and provide us with many chances to be grateful and to live in the moment. When times are difficult, I really try to find the beauty in what is also present: the coming of friends together, the massive amounts of love and well-wishes that follow, and the knowledge that this too shall pass. This may be little solace to those who are suffering, but gathering around and showering love is sometimes all we can do. And it helps, even if it is just a little bit. So this weekend, I am grateful to have my health and the health of my family and loved ones. I am grateful to be allowed to live one more day on this amazing planet, experiencing all there is to experience here: the good, the bad, the ugly. All of this is the common human experience that we all share.  Knowing we are not alone, and that no one is exempt from these hard times, is comforting. Laughter will always return, even if it seems too far away to be real. Love and light and happiness are always just around the corner, right within our reach, waiting there for us to find them, patient, unending, a warm embrace on a cold night.

Thank you for reading and allowing me an outlet for my thoughts and recipes. I am grateful for you! What are you grateful for? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below.

There is no great way to seggway to the recipe here, but it’s a good one. It’s easy, healthy, and it is refreshing on a hot day (we’ve had too many of these lately). Preparing food for others (even simple meals) is a great way to show them you care and that you are grateful for them. Enjoy!

Cucumber Gazpacho

2 large cucumbers, chopped (I used organic from Trader Joe’s)

3-5 radishes (I used 5)

*½ avocado

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

½ cup water

2 tablespoons white wine or red wine vinegar

½ teaspoon kosher or sea salt

pinch red pepper flakes, or to taste

**1 small clove of garlic, minced

**1 tablespoon shallots, diced

Garnishes:

Sliced radish

Small heap of microgreens (or arugula)

1 tablespoon pine nuts (or other nut/seed of choice)

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

*Avocados can bother some people with sensitive stomachs. If you are going through the elimination period of the low FODMAPS diet, I would leave them out. Small amounts of them do not bother me, so this soup made my tummy happy!

**Garlic and onions wreak havoc on the digestive systems of those with IBS and sensitive stomachs. I left them out completely, and the soup was wonderful! You could always add a bit of chives or green onions as a garnish; these are usually well-tolerated in small amounts, but everyone is different. Listen to your body.

Instructions:

Put the olive oil, water, vinegar, salt, red pepper flakes, some black pepper, avocado, and the cucumbers in your blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Add in your radishes (**and garlic and onions, if using), starting with 3 and then tasting for desired spice level. I thought it was perfect with 5. Season to taste, and serve with garnishes!

This is a great soup to serve as an appetizer, snack, or light lunch. You could cook up some protein on the side if you would like, or you can tear up some pieces of prosciutto and put them in the soup. I served mine with some grilled steak!

photo 1 (24)

photo 2 (18)

recipe inspiration: What’s Cooking Good Looking