Hot Spanish Soup that’s Chilled!
Flamenco “100 Calorie” Gazpacho Soup
I remember the first time I ever saw Flamenco dancers in action; I was about seven years old and we went to Spain on a family holiday. The hotel we stayed at in L’Estartit had evening entertainment, as they all do of course, and I was allowed to stay up to watch the Flamenco dancers. When we stayed there in the 1960’s, it was just a large fishing village with a few hotels, but no high-rise hotels; our accommodation were little holiday cottages, with meals being taken in a large communal restaurant. The beach was a gentle 20 minute walk away and I remember that I loved every minute of the holiday, of which the evening entertainment was the highlight of my day. Flamenco dancing has continued to intrigue and fascinate me, all of that stomping of feet with those series faces and the violent strumming of the Spanish guitar. It’s spine-tingling and full of passion – a whirl of colour and sound, intense and vibrant – it makes the hairs stand up on the back of my neck.
I discovered a way to sate my appetite for this particular genre of music and dance, by viewing some of the dance routines on YouTube, and whereas the dancing is often seen as “wild” and “unfettered”, in fact it can be very elegant and extremely sensual, as this video shows: Sensual Flamenco and here: La Lupi – Soleá por Bulerías (1/2)
But to get back to my recipe for today, a Spanish classic, cool and fiery with raw vegetables, a well-made Gazpacho is a thing of passion and beauty. My recipe is based on several classic recipes, but has been adapted to be lower in calories, as I have omitted lots of the olive oil that is normally added to this chilled soup. Th recipe makes six generous portions of soup, and if you have lots of calories left to spare (if following the 5:2 diet where two days of the week are devoted to eating 500 calories) on your fast day, then a double portion is still only 200 calories, and I can tell you that this soup is VERY filling.
Other health benefits are that this soup is “raw” – all of the vegetables are raw and the soup is blended and not cooked; there has been extensive scientific research about the benefits of a “raw” diet; it’s thought that a raw food diet enhances your body’s ability to prevent and fight diseases, especially chronic diseases. Raw foodism says that raw and living foods contain essential food enzymes that are destroyed if the food is heated to above 47 Celsius/Centigrade.
The following health benefits are highlighted by followers of a raw food diet:
- You will have more energy
- Your skin will have a much better appearance
- Your digestion will improve
- You will lose weight
- Your risk of developing heart and cardiovascular diseases will significantly drop
(Some information: Medical News Today)
Apart from the health benefits of this soup, it is absolutely drop dead gorgeous, and is PACKED full of the most amazing flavours, tastes and textures. If you are not worried about the calorie count, then you can drizzle some extra olive oil over this soup on serving along with some home-made chunky croutons. This soup is just brilliant for anyone on a diet, as well as for picnics, packed lunches, lazy summer lunches and a Tapas themed dinner party. Just pour it into a large flask, take along some mugs (tin or enamel mugs are best) and enjoy this soup with crusty bread as part of a summer picnic.
The recipe for my Flamenco “100 Calorie” Gazpacho Soup is shared below, in the meantime, why don’t you visit my YouTube links and have a bit of a stomp and whirl, whilst you wait for your supper or tea! That’s all for today, see you soon, with more recipes for treats, cakes, snacks and sandwiches…….have a lovely Thursday, Karen.