Easy dinner recipes: Beat the heat with three cool gazpacho variations

Easy dinner recipes: Beat the heat with three cool gazpacho variations
Recipe: White gazpacho with grapes (Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times)
A cool bowl of gazpacho is a sure way to beat the heat. These options come together in minutes.

White gazpacho with grapes: For a variation on classic gazpacho, try this white gazpacho with grapes. Nicely thickened with soaked bread and ground almonds, the simple soup is further flavored with a few cloves of garlic, extra-virgin olive oil and sherry vinegar. Garnish it with green grapes and dinner is served. You can find the recipe below.

Urth Caffe's gazpacho: Tomato, cucumber, onion, bell peppers, garlic and a great blend of spices and seasonings give this gazpacho from Urth Caffe nice depth of flavor with a hint of spice.

Tierra Sur's heirloom melon gazpacho: Chef Todd Aarons was happy to share his recipe for this light, refreshing soup, perfect for this time of the year. He suggests using heirloom melons from the farmers market, such as those from Weiser Family Farms. He particularly likes their Sugar Queen, butterscotch or Ogen melons. Aarons also suggests using slightly underripe melons, since you don't want the soup to be too sweet.



Total time: 25 minutes, plus optional chilling time | Serves 4

Note: This gazpacho is best made with fresh almonds, shelled, blanched and skinned. To blanch and skin almonds: Bring a saucepan of water to a full boil. Add the almonds and blanch them for 60 seconds. Drain. While they are still warm, slip the skins off.

6 slices day-old bread, crusts removed (6 ounces)
1 cup blanched and skinned almonds
3 cloves garlic
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup Sherry vinegar
2 teaspoons salt
2 cups water, plus extra for soaking the bread, divided
12 green grapes, seeds removed if there are any

1. Soak the bread in enough water to cover until it is softened. Squeeze out the water and place the bread in a food processor or blender with the almonds and garlic. Pulse until the almonds are finely ground.

2. With the motor running, add the oil in a slow stream, then the vinegar and salt. Blend in some of the 2 cups water, then pour the mixture into a pitcher and add remaining water. This makes about 4 1/2 cups gazpacho.

3. Serve immediately or chill until serving time. Stir before serving. Serve the gazpacho in small bowls with grapes.

Each of 4 servings: 576 calories; 11 grams protein; 32 grams carbohydrates; 5 grams fiber; 47 grams fat; 5 grams saturated fat; 0 cholesterol; 6 grams sugar; 1,464 mg sodium.