My Gazpacho

hydrating

VEGAN, GLUTEN-FREE, DAIRY-FREE

I am rarely without peppers and use them regularly, given how brilliantly versatile and nutritious they are. Eaten raw, sautéed, slowly roasted, or even whizzed up, they work pitch perfect with meat, fish, eggs, and shine in purely plant-based meals. I often think that they inadvertently become the star of a dish – with their colour, texture and taste – even when side-lined to a lesser role. I especially love to use them as a vessel in which to pile more nutritious yumminess, as I did for one of my favourite dishes in Nourish & Glow, the vegan ‘Stuffed Peppers with Chilli’.

Peppers, of course, are also a true ‘rainbow’ vegetable coming in the full, dazzling gamut of colours from white through to purple. Whatever their colour, they are deliciously crisp and sweet, and contain vitamins and antioxidants, notably Vitamins C, A and B6. Although red peppers boast the most nutrients, all peppers afford us a rich dose of goodness.


INGREDIENTS

1 red pepper, deseeded
1/2 stick of celery
1/4 cucumber, deseeded
500g firm ripe tomatoes
1 spring onion
1/2 clove of garlic (or to your liking)
1 handful of fresh basil
1 1/2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
a generous dash of Tabasco
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
pumpkin seeds and fresh baby basil leaves, to garnish


STEP-BY-STEP

Reserve a very small amount of red pepper, celery and cucumber for the garnish, then blitz the rest of the ingredients (apart from the garnish) in a food processor until smooth – you can leave it a little chunky if you prefer. Season with salt and pepper, and add more sherry vinegar and Tabasco to taste. Leave to chill in the fridge for a least 2 hours.

Chop the reserved red pepper, cucumber and celery into the smallest dice you can. Serve the gazpacho in bowls, topped with the chopped vegetables, pumpkin seeds and baby basil leaves.