Ah… Summer. Summer in the city, to be precise. Not all that comfy at times, but lucky for us, our hometown is bracketed by mountain ranges, all conveniently covered in the signature lush, pillowy dark greens of the middle mountains, dotted with a few splotches of red and yellow here and there. Whenever the hubbub of the city is getting to us, we simply hit the road, our picnic stuff, hiking boots and a bottle of water in tow, following the cool, calm and serene call of the forest.
This time around, a particularly sudden urge to get some fresh, cool air into our systems caught me and my kitchen at the worst possible time: in the early morning, right before my next scheduled grocery shopping trip. A quick snoop into the nooks and crannies of my otherwise empty fridge, freezer and store cupboard didn’t net me a lot to work with… but just enough to whip up this little very refreshing and satisfying Gazpacho, perfectly capable of cooling you down whether you’re sitting beneath a tree, at your dinner table or on a mountain’s peak after a long hike. Here’s what you need for 3-4 servings:
500-600g or 2 large, ripe Mangoes, peeled, pitted and roughly chopped
Alt: 600g Frozen Mango pieces
2 Tsp Coconut Oil
1 Small Red Onion, diced
1 Tbsp Thai Red Curry Paste
1 Lime, Zest – keep the juice for the fruity islands
1 Tbsp Palm Sugar, finely grated
1 Tsp fresh Lemongrass, finely grated
1 Tsp Fresh Ginger, finely grated
1 Tsp Fresh Galangal, finely grated – use 2 Tsp Ginger in case you can’t get a fresh root of
400ml Low Fat Coconut Milk – if you’re going with full fat Coconut Milk, you might need to adjust the amount of Curry Paste
Fish Sauce to taste
Note: If you want to go full veggie on this one, make sure you check the labels – red thai curry paste is traditionally made from dried shrimp but in my experience, a 100% vegetarian option is usually found somewhere near the jars holding the “traditional” paste. And skip the fish sauce, of course~ A little more lime juice and a pinch of salt will remedy that lack of zing nicely.
1) Place a small pan on medium heat and add the oil.
2) Once it’s melted, sautée the onion for about 5 mins until it’s tender.
3) Stir in the curry paste, give it a minute to warm up, then move the mixture into a food processor or blender.
4) Add the rest of the ingredients and whizz everything into a smooth and silky soup.
5) Transfer the gazpacho to a large airtight container and place it in the fridge for at least 3 hours.
6) Have a taste and adjust the seasoning with the same spices and the consistency with more coconut milk if necessary.
7) Place it back in the fridge for at least another hour – or overnight, this is a wonderful soup to prepare in advance, just don’t let it sit for longer than a day, it would turn stale – and take care of the topping in the meantime.
200g fresh Mango, diced
1 Lime, Juice
1 Tbsp Brown Sugar
1 Bunch or about 80g fresh Thai Basil, finely sliced
1) Place the mango cubes, lime juice and basil strips in a small bowl.
2) Sprinkle them with the brown sugar, gently toss the lot until the sugar is evenly distributed and set the bowl aside for 30 mins.
3) Divide the soup into chilled serving bowls and top each with a spoonful of the marinated mangoes.
4) Scatter the servings with the basil you’ve kept out of the topping and serve immediately.