I prefer a farmer’s market whenever possible, and because I live in Manhattan it is almost always possible as long as I know where, and what train to take to get there. However, farm stands don’t allow for the selection of a super-market so I’m breaking from my #SpinachEveryDay rule to take advantage of other summer varietals available. One cannot deny the abundance of the tomato at summer’s end, hence, gazpacho!
This was my first time making this dish, but I have consumed it on numerous occasions, so I felt educated enough to prepare according to taste. A quick Google search provided me with the basic ingredients and many variations of the recipe which is good, because that leaves some wiggle room. What especially intrigues me about this chilled tomato soup is that tomatoes have been noted to provide natural sun protection for the skin as a result of nutritional content. The best and worst part of summer is the sun, and the skin damage we incur from outdoor activities. Beach days, lazy days at the lake, hiking, swimming, and my need for vitamin D always trumps my fear of wrinkles. What better way to protect your skin from the sun, than by eating!
Lycopene is a carotenoid plant pigment which has received a lot of press as an anti-oxidant cancer combatant, and more recently been linked to bone strength, in addition to potentially protecting the skin from damaging ultraviolet rays. Tomatoes are high in vitamins A and C which are known to protect against, and repair skin cells from sun damage, as well as zea-xanthin which filters harmful UV rays in the eyes. Vitamin K and potassium are abundant as well which are necessary for bone health. To top it off tomatoes contain fiber which fill you up and stave off hunger. A bowl of cold tomato soup on a hot summer day will do more than just provide a meal. This dish generally also contains bell peppers, and cucumbers which are hydrating and also add to the fiber content. It’s the perfect mid-day snack if your romping around in a bathing suit, or light dinner for replenishing your bodies vitamins and anti-oxidants while your body rests and recharges.