I’m back in The Netherlands but have to admit the Ibiza enchantment still lingers. What a magical two weeks it has been with delicious food, great company and fantastic yoga. I’ve added a picture of the view from my favorite spot at the deluxe beach restaurant Elements on the famous Benirras beach. Every sunday this beach turns into a hippie walhalla with African and brasilian drums and dancers from every nation and background joining forces to bid a passionate farewell to the setting sun. I too donned in a Morrocon inspired gown (the gown of gowns I call it) danced my ass off and I can’t tell you how liberating it felt. But you can probably tell by the blissful look on my face…
I was dreading to come back since the weather in Amsterdam had been really unpleasant whilst I was working on my tan on the Balerean Island. But no sooner did I set foot in bicycle city or the sun started shining franticly as if wanting to make up for lost time. No one will hear me complaining. Uh uh. I love the sun, I adore it with a passion. I revel in it. I turn into a different person when it shines. Having my roots in a tropical country with minimum temperatures of, say 25 degrees Celsius on a really bad day mine is a lifelong love affair with Mister Sun. And when he is not around I feel disconnected and so much less alive. So needless to say I’ve been enjoying the good weather to the maximum leaving the house super early in the morning and not returning until the sun sets. No drumming or dancing involved, I promise….
This kind of “summer time and the living is easy’- vibe calls for quick and refreshing meals. Not the kind that have you chopping and grinding and beating and baking all day. So I took inspiration from this fantastic cold soup we ate at this pretty little café called Como on our first day on Ibiza. There is hardly anything more spanish than gazpacho but this one was a very special one made with avocado and cucumber. The thing that made it even tastier was that avocado’s were in season and we almost daily drove past estates where we could see them hanging abundantly from the trees. For someone who has lived in a cold climate for more than 20 years now I can tell you that sure is a sight for sore eyes! And our pocket book was equally happy as they were, to us Dutchies, super cheap eventhough they were organic. Finally our tastebuds did the happy dance too when we tasted the creamy yet utterly refreshing soup. The secret (or not so secret anymore I guess) ingredient is the basil which really makes the dish. After tasting it it made me wanna say Olé, Olé and Olé some more. Instead I said nothing but just stuffed my face…
So taking a little bit of the Ibiza dream back home and with Mr Sun smiling down on me it seemed only right to make this ambrosia of soups again. Oke, I did not step into my garden and pick the avocado right from the tree but it still was good, really good.
Normally strict Ayurvedic cooks would frown upon cold soups. Soup is to be eaten hot to aid the digestion along and the mere idea of a chilled version would seem appaling to them. But since I am not a strict nor traditional Ayurvedic cook, today my friends you are in luck! For me personally when the thermomether rises above the 25 degrees our agni (digestive fire) is so busy working on keeping our skin cool it has no time to digest big meals. (Which doesn’t mean I suddenly turn into a pigeon size eater, mind you me. I always love eating. But hé, that’s just me!). In this heat I just like to keep things simple and although the soup is cold the acidity in it also stimulates the digestive process. Also the great thing about this soup is that all 6 tastes are represented in it. Sweet through the avocado and oil, sour through the vinegar and lime, salty through the rock salt, pungent and astringent through the garlic, chilli and pepper and bitter through the basil leaves. You will notice that because of this the soup will leave you feeling satisfied for a long time without being heavy.
So having said that this soup is best for Vata since all those beautiful healthy fats in avocado are very balancing for them and the sour taste is also a Vata balancing taste. Since Vata easily dries out the high water content in the cucumber is an extra bonus. However when it’s hot like this in Holland (like maybe 2 days in every 150 years….) Kapha’s and Pitta’s by all means have a glass and please enjoy it! Kapha you might want to add some more fire to yours by adding ginger and some extra green chilli. Pitta please go easy on the vinegar and leave out the chilli. I have already replaced lime for the more traditional lemon which is a better and less sour option for Pitta anyway and which taste I prefer in this recipe. If you are easily triggered by raw garlic leave that out as well.
Avocado gazpacho (serves 4)
- 2 ripe medium to big avocados peeled, cored and cubed
- 1 large cucumber (peeled) but leave the seeds in for extra moisture
- 650 ml chilled water
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1/2 green chilli deseeded and finely chopped
- lime juice to taste (I used 1 whole lime)
- 1 teaspoon apple vinegar
- about 6 big basil leaves or more to taste
- just a dash of maple syrup (optional)
- 2 tablespoons chopped and toasted almonds for garnish
- some small basil leaves for garnish
- a drizzle of pistache, almond or olive oil for garnish
Mix all ingredients in a blender. Add some more water if the gazpacho remains too thick. This will depend on the size of your avocados. Season liberally with rock salt and (white) pepper. If you like a hint of sweetness in your soup add just a drizzle of maple syrup.
Serve in a pretty wine glass and garnish the soup with the almond, basil leaves and a drizzle fo pistache, almond or good quality extra virgin olive oil.