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A simple and tasty mix of cucumber, green pepper, garlic, onion and mint to cool you down on a hot summer day.

Cucumber-mint Gazpacho

Cucumber-Mint Gazpacho is the perfect refreshing soup on a sunny day! A great appetizer to any summer meal, you can serve it as a simple soup or in a pitcher with glasses as tapas, with some extra ice cubes if it’s on a sunny day. This cold soup, is a modern variation of the famous Spanish tomato Cucumber-mint Gazpachocold soup called gazpacho (gazpacho recipe here). It contains all the same secondary ingredients, the only missing one here is the tomato, which is replaced by lots of cucumber and also a touch of mint, to make it extra fresh. Actually the original gazpacho dates back from the Roman times and wasn’t made with tomatoes since those got imported afterwards from the New world. The original gazpacho, called ajo blanco, was made out of almond, garlic, water and olive oil and a touch of vinegar and sometimes, if lucky, some extra grapes.

Of course, like with any cold soup, the temperature needs to be spot on, so I highly suggest a 3 hours of cooling before serving. If you intend to serve it outside, in the sun, make sure it lays on ice or give it right away to your guests. Because there is no bigger disappointment than a lukewarm “cold soup”. The few leaves of mint gives this soup this extra freshness without taking over the cucumber flavor. A perfect summer soup!

So let’s make this fresh cucumber gazpacho!cucumbergazpachopin


Cucumber-mint Gazpacho

Makes 2 full soup portions, about 6 tapas glass portions

Ingredients
  • Cucumber-mint Gazpacho1 1/2 english cucumber peeled
  • 1 small Cubanelle Peppers or 1/2 a green bell pepper (*sweet pepper)
  • 1/2 spring or white onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 hand of fresh mint
  • 1 small cup of plain yogurt
  • 2 tbsp of cider vinegar
  • 4 tbsp of olive oil
  • 150ml of water (to taste)
  • salt and pepper
Directions
  1. In a blender add all the ingredients
  2. Blend until extra smooth
  3. If you find the soup too thick, pass it through a sieve (then add 1 tbsp or 2 of pulp to the soup) and mix
  4. Check the seasoning (salt, pepper, vinegar) and water, adjust to your taste
  5. Let cool in the refrigerator for a minimum of 3 hours of cooling before serving

 

Serve with a few dices of cucumber and pepper, a mint leaf, lime wedge and a touch of extra-virgin olive oil. Enjoy!

Cucumber-mint Gazpacho

Tzaziki

So here is a classic! A silky, yummy tzatziki sauce.

This is a must in a fridge, simply because it goes so well with so much and it’s way healthier than a fatty mayonnaise or salty mustard. I especially love it with my falafels (recipe here). So let’s talk tzatziki!

My version differs from most tzatziki sauce, simply because I put a squeeze of lemon in it and sometimes add some dried cilantro, flat leaf parsley, oregano or dill to it. The spice is totally up to you though… depending on what you intend to eat it with… for example, in this case I was using it for falafels wraps, so I chose dry cilantro because it fits with the fresh mint from the falafels.

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Yogurt

Let’s talk about the health benefits of yogurt for a moment… This white, velvety cream does not only contain probiotics, which are good for your bloated stomach or dia…a … but  it’s also a great natural exfoliation mask because of it’s lactic acid. Just mix it with a few drops of olive oil and a spoon of honey. Rub it on you face, et voilà! It will exfoliate your face, eliminate those red patches and reduce the small wrinkles.

If you are on a diet, tzatziki is the way to go, it’s filled in flavors and creamy and low in fat if you choose a 0% fat yogurt. The greek yogurt is thicker than normal yogurt and will give your tzatziki a much better consistency.

Let’s make this Tzatziki!


 

Tzatziki a la Maria-Pia

Ingredients
  • 1 small cup of your favorite yogurt (fat or light, greek or not)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 a peeled cucumber
  • 1 tsp of olive oil
  • lemon
  • 1 tsp dry coriander, dill, parlsey or else
  • the famous salt and pepper
Descriptions
  1. In a morter add the olive oil and garlic and make purée with it
  2. Blend the cucumber in a blender
  3. Let the cucumber in a sieve with salt and leave it to drain about 5-10 minutes or if in a hurry push down on it with a spoon to release the juice (keep the juice for some sparkling water and lemon drink with it)
  4. Add the cucumber pulp and the garlic purée to the yogurt and add a splash of lemon, pepper, salt and the aromatic herb of your choice (or nothing at all).
  5. Refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour before serving

 

Trick: If you want to get rid of the fresh garlic smell on your hands, just rub them on a metal surface, like the sink.

Enjoy!

Roasted rosemary and thyme potatoes with tzatziki parsley dip