Carrot Gazpacho: A Tasty Cold Soup Alternative

The carrot gazpacho I made recently for lunch: delicious and a bit sweeter than the tomato version

Ever since I studied abroad in Madrid when I was 20, I’ve been a huge gazpacho fan. Like few other dishes in the world, it’s hard to make badly (even bad gazpacho’s still OK). It’s simple, it’s healthy (clocking in at between 30 and 50 calories a serving), and it takes advantage of a summer staples that are incredibly fresh and abundant.

But sometimes even old favorites get, well, old. Since one of my fave summer meals is a tomato sandwich, I wanted a delicious soup to go with, even for a tomato-lover like myself, it would be overkill to pair it with gazpacho. I recently found myself with a large bag of carrots and thought they might make a great cold soup, likely a bit sweet, but one that would mix well with the other traditional gazpacho ingredients, like cucumber, onion, red pepper, fresh parsley and cilantro. And voila, I was right!

Be sure to use fresh, organic carrots for this recipe, otherwise it won’t work; these carrots are more likely to be sweet, crisp, and full of water, which makes a better soup. I also used some tomato here, but just a couple and instead of red, I used yellow (orange would work too) as they are less acidic and sweeter than red tomatoes but still give you some liquid and a bit of the soft fleshiness that the soup needs. I don’t remove the skin from tomatoes or carrots, but you can if you want a soupier soup; I like mine chunky.

Starre’s Carrot Gazpacho Soup

5-6 fresh, medium-sized, organic carrots, chopped into five or six pieces each
2-3 small-medium yellow or orange tomatoes, chopped into quarters
1 medium sized cucumber (remove 1/2 the skin)
1/2 medium-sized vidalia onion, peeled and chopped in quarters
1 sweet red bell pepper (de-seeded and chopped in quarters)
1 clove organic garlic
1/4 cup red wine vinegar (less if you don’t like vinegar)
handful of fresh cilantro (to taste)
handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley (to taste)
juice from 1/2 medium sized lemon
2 tablespoons of EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
sprinkle sea salt (to taste)
fresh black pepper (to taste)
tablespoon agave or teaspoon brown sugar (or to taste)
Sprinkle hot pepper flakes or fresh jalepeno (if desired)

Add all ingredients (save salt, sweetener, and pepper) to a blender, and blend on lowest speed. Stop blending when desired chunkiness is reached. Taste, then add salt, pepper, and sweetener as appropriate (you might need less salt than you think).

Starre Vartan is founder and editor-in-chief of Eco-Chick.com and the author of the Eco-Chick Guide to Life. She's also a freelance science and environment writer who has published in National Geographic, CNN, Scientific American, Mental Floss, Pacific Standard, the NRDC, and many more. She lives on an island in Puget Sound with her partner and black cat. She was a geologist in her first career, and still picks up rocks wherever she goes.