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A&E >  Food

Cool, Crunchy Gazpacho Perfect Summer Refresher

By Charlotte Balcomb Lane Knight-Ridder/Tribune

Black and White Gazpacho is like a bowl full of delicious salad - except it’s a soup.

Traditional gazpacho hails from Spain and is made of pureed tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and other vegetables. Served cold on a hot day, it’s the ultimate summer refresher.

This gazpacho is a bit more substantial than ordinary soups because it contains black and white beans, which add protein and complex carbohydrates to the mix. Just 17 percent of the calories in this cool, crunchy soup come from fat.

This is a fabulous recipe for people who hate to slave over a hot stove, because the vegetables are served raw and a blender or food processor does most of the chopping. The only trick is to puree the cucumber, peppers and tomatoes, but just coarsely chop the beans. To achieve that, add the vegetables in stages to the food processor or blender.

The soup is best if it is made in advance and refrigerated to allow the flavors to develop.

Black and White Gazpacho

1 cucumber, peeled

2 cloves garlic, peeled

1/2 green bell pepper, seeded

1/2 red bell pepper, seeded

1/2 yellow bell pepper, seeded

2 (14-1/2-ounce) cans no-salt-added, peeled, diced tomatoes

6 tablespoons garlic-flavored red wine vinegar

1/2 cup fresh basil leaves

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup canned small white beans, drained and rinsed

In a food processor or blender, chop the cucumber, garlic and bell peppers. Add the canned tomatoes, vinegar, fresh basil, olive oil, salt and pepper and puree the mixture. Add the black and white beans. Turn the motor on and off quickly to chop the beans but not puree them (pieces of beans should be about the size of peas). Refrigerate 2 to 3 hours and serve chilled.

Yield: 5 (1-cup) servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 173 calories, 3 grams fat (16 percent fat calories), 9 grams protein, 27 grams carbohydrate, no cholesterol, 365 milligrams sodium.

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