Creamy Gazpacho with Coconut “Bacon Bits”

This magnificent cool soup is one of the easiest things to make with your fresh picked, home grown tomatoes! Gazpacho is basically a blended salad and it can be made with just a few juicy, ripe tomatoes, a handful of red peppers, onions, peeled cucumbers, some herbs, and a blender. This version is thickened with a couple of slices of hearty bread and garnished with finely diced vegetables, avocado and crumbled coconut “bacon bits” but there are endless ways to adorn this soup. Be creative and add your own spin!

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INGREDIENTS

  • 4 medium Roma tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 mini cucumbers, topped and tailed, peeled
  • 1/2 large red pepper, coarsely chopped
  • 3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 2 thick slices bread crumbs (GF, if necessary)
  • 1 litre (32 oz.) cold water

DIRECTONS

Place the tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and onions cut into pieces. Season with salt and pepper, and leave to stand for 2 hours. Place  tomato mix wit the juices, bread and cold water to a high speed blender and puree until really smooth. Add vinegar and lime juice to taste. Store in the refrigerator while you prepare the coconut “bacon”.

Dice a little tomato, pepper, cucumber and sprinkle around the edges of the bowl. Add fresh basil and cilantro leaves.

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Ladle or pour gazpacho into the centre of soup bowls and top with diced avocado and coconut  bacon bits.

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Serve soup with garlic toasts (see Notes).

Yield: 4 generous servings (1 Litre)

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Coconut Bacon Bits

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup large unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 tablespoon Naked Coconuts (soy-free liquid seasoning available at health food stores)
  • Large pinch ground chipotle chilli pepper
  • ½ tablespoon maple syrup

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the coconut flakes with the seasonings in a medium-sized bowl. Mix well. Spread the coconut flakes as evenly as possible on your baking sheet.

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Bake in the centre of the oven for about  for 10 minutes, spinning the pan around  after 5 minutes, until flakes are mostly dry and become dark. The coconut flakes will crisp up as they cool. when completely cool, crumble the coconut flakes to resemble bacon bits and store in a covered container until ready to use. (Coconut bacon can also be frozen).

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Yield: 1 cup coconut “bacon”.

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Notes:

For garlic toasts: Rub the cut slide of a garlic love over both sides of the bread and place in a preheated cast iron or non-stick frypan. Flip the bread over when one side has turned golden brown or achieved desired markings and toast the other side. No need to oil the pan.

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