This zucchini gazpacho is spring in a bowl: fresh, vegetal, and the vivid green color of newly sprouted fescue. At first bite, it’s mellow and lightly sweet, thanks to the raw zucchini and celery. But wait a moment and your tongue will start to tingle—that’s the arugula and garlic talking. As you swallow, the sensation is cool and warm at the same time, not unlike an early spring breeze whispering over your sun-warmed skin on the first short-sleeves day of the season.
But I digress. The miracle is that I’m eating zucchini at all, because usually I can’t stand it. I think it’s the texture that gets to me: cooked zucchini goes limp and wet; fresh-cut, it develops a disconcertingly slippery coating. Luckily, pureeing zucchini skirts both issues.
Ironically, this ridiculously healthy soup was born of cupcakes. A few weeks ago, inspired by my avocado chocolate-peanut butter pudding success, I went searching for more vegetable dessert recipes. Chocolate zucchini cupcakes sounded yummy (no zucchini texture issues in baked goods), and indeed they were! (I’ll be posting that recipe soon.) However, when I was done making my last batch of cupcakes, I found myself with leftover grated zucchini and—randomly—a bag of celery microgreens that a wily vendor at my farmer’s market had talked me into. So—what the heck?—I threw the zucchini into a food processor with the microgreens and some fresh garlic, and voila: kicky zucchini gazpacho was born.
Sadly celery microgreens aren’t widely available. (I’d never even heard of them until the nice farmer convinced me how delicious they were.) So I approximated the flavor and spicy microgreen kick with celery and baby arugula. I hope you like it!
(Note: if you don’t like fresh garlic, you may as well surf on outta this post…how about some veggie trivia? True or False: Kale, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, collard greens, kohlrabi, and cabbage are all the same species? Click here to find out.)
This is one of the few veggie dishes I’ve tried that tastes healthy in a good way. Seriously, just eating it feels a little like a runner’s high. (Or in my case, a leisurely walker’s high.) In a word, it’s refreshing. But I’ll warn you: even though it’s crazy-easy to whip up, you’re going to make a mess doing it. So embrace the green drips and enjoy!
- 3 cups grated zucchini (about 2 medium zucchini – no need to be exact)
- 4 celery stalks, chopped crosswise into small half-moons
- 4 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
- 1 cup baby arugula (tightly packed)
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp lite soy sauce
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- Combine in a food processor and whiz until mostly smooth, pausing occasionally to scrape the top, sides, and bottom. Add more salt if desired (or another clove of garlic, what the heck), and serve.