Potage Espagnol, a variation on Gazpacho

Potage EspagnolThis tasty version of Gazpacho uses double-strength chicken stock spiced with dry mustard and green onions instead of the usual tomato juice, garlic and onions. It’s full of summer freshness and bright flavor that’s sure to please everyone. It’s also suitable for anyone with fructose malabsorption or on a low-FODMAP diet, which isn’t always the case with traditional Gazpacho.

If you want to make this more authentic, finely chop the vegetables, but it tastes just as wonderful when they’re in larger pieces and it’s a lot quicker to make. You’ll get the most flavor if you use home-made chicken stock, so make your own and reduce it by half. For easy to make instructions, see my post on Chicken Pot Pie. I prefer it with 1 teaspoon of mustard because the richness of the concentrated chicken stock shines through, but add more if you like spicier food. The original recipe called for peeling, seeding and chopping the tomatoes, but I never do and no one seems to mind.

This is one of those recipes that I love- simple, quick and full of flavor. I found it in a plain,  red-covered book, “How to Eat Better for Less Money”, published in 1954. I’m always on the look-out for old cookbooks and this one is a real treasure. I grabbed it because of the age and title, then discovered that it’s one of James Beard‘s early cookbooks. Not only was James Beard a great cook, he was a good writer with simple, easy to follow recipes and this volume is no exception.

Potage Espanol, a variation on Gazpacho

Serves 6, Adapted from “How to Eat Better for Less Money”

Soup

2 pounds (907 grams) Campari tomatoes (or any vine-ripe tomato), chopped
1 1/2 English cucumbers, chopped
1 bunch green onions, green part only, chopped
3 cups (720 ml) double strength chicken stock
1 1/4 teaspoons (6.25 ml) salt
1 to 2 teaspoons (5 to 10 ml) dry mustard
2 tablespoons (30 ml) chopped fresh basil or 1 1/2 teaspoons (7.5 ml) dried basil

Garnish

Gluten-free croutons (toasted in a pan with garlic-infused olive oil)
Green bell pepper (capsicum), chopped
Parsley, chopped
Hard-cooked egg, finely chopped

Combine the tomatoes, cucumber, green onions and chicken stock in a large bowl. Add the salt and mustard to taste, along with the basil. Cover the bowl and chill for 10 to 12 hours. Serve with a selection of garnishes to sprinkle on top of the soup.