Divine Dining: Chicken gazpacho — refreshing, easy go-to lunch
If you are like me, the idea of cold soup is about as appealing as lukewarm milk. But when you’ve been working hard in your yard all day — okay, sitting outside reading and thinking about how hard you should be working in your yard — there’s nothing as refreshing as hearty, chilled gazpacho.
This recipe is no where near the equivalent of canned tomato soup you just pop in the fridge; it is ripe with flavors of juicy tomatoes and fresh cilantro, earthy from toasted pine nuts, with an interesting kick from fresh lemon juice and creaminess from fresh avocado. Its sublime flavor and refreshing temperature might just motivate you to get outside and work in your yard, or simply to brave the pollen and get outside to read. Plus, it keeps really well, and proves an easy go-to lunch that won’t leave you needing a nap afterward.
Be brave, my friends. Embrace the cold soup. Well, don’t literally embrace it; that could get really messy. Embrace the idea of cold soup, how about that? And then whip up a delicious batch and share the good news of gazpacho. This recipe is gluten-free.
1 whole boneless, skinless chicken breast
1/4 c. pine nuts, toasted in a dry hot pan for 5 minutes
6 tomatoes, diced with juice
1 small red onion, chopped
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped
I garlic clove, smashed
1 avocado, sliced
1/3 c. chicken broth
1 T red wine vinegar
juice of 1/2 lemon
3 T extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 c. cilantro, plus more for garnish
salt and pepper
In a small saucepan, cover the chicken breast with water, cover and bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes, until done. Remove and let cool. Meanwhile, pulse pine nuts in a food processor until fine. Add tomatoes, chicken broth, onion, cucumber, garlic, vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil and cilantro and pulse until coarsely chopped. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour into a container and chill, covered, in the freezer for 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Shred the poached chicken and serve on top of the chilled soup, garnished with cilantro, sliced avocado and a drizzle of olive oil.
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The Rev. Whitney Wilkinson is pastor of Cameron Presbyterian Church.