Culinary SOS: White gazpacho from Sweet Life Cafe

The white gazpacho, made with cucumber and grapes, is adapted from a dish at the Sweet Life Cafe on Martha's Vineyard. Recipe
The white gazpacho, made with cucumber and grapes, is adapted from a dish at the Sweet Life Cafe on Martha’s Vineyard. Recipe
(Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times)
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Los Angeles Times

Dear SOS: There are plenty of good reasons why President andMrs. Obama chose to return to Sweet Life Café in Oak Bluffs on Martha’s Vineyard this summer. In my opinion, the best reason would be to delight in a bowl of white gazpacho with steamed clams, grapes, almonds and smoked paprika oil. I have never had anything like it, but it is an experience I would love to re-create at home. Can you pry the recipe from them? Thanks.

Lynne Lipcon

Wayland, Mass.

Dear Lynne: Puréed cucumbers and grapes form the base of this wonderfully fresh, bright soup, with yogurt and sour cream adding tangy richness, fresh lemon, a nice touch of garlic, sherry vinegar and a dash of hot sauce rounding out the harmony. Quick to make, the chilled soup makes a great snack or light meal.

Total time: 20 minutes, plus chilling time

Servings: 4 to 6

Note: Adapted from the Sweet Life Cafe on Massachusett’s Martha’s Vineyard. To make smoked paprika oil, warm 1/3 cup olive oil with 2 tablespoons smoked paprika in a small saucepan, then strain through cheesecloth and cool before using. The restaurant also suggests garnishing the soup with clams steamed in white wine.


2 hothouse cucumbers, peeled and chopped (seeds can be removed)

1/2 bunch green grapes (about 2 cups)

3 cloves garlic

1 cup yogurt, preferably Greek-style

1/2 cup sour cream or crème fraîche

Juice of ½ lemon

1 tablespoon salt, or to taste

Tabasco, or similar hot sauce

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar, or as desired

Toasted almonds, for garnish

Sliced red grapes, for garnish

Smoked paprika oil, for garnish

1. Purée the cucumbers in a blender. Push the cucumbers through a sieve into a medium bowl. Blend the grapes and garlic in the blender, then push through a sieve and stir into the cucumbers.

2. Whisk in the yogurt, sour cream and lemon juice, and season with the salt, sugar and vinegar. Add the Tabasco to taste. This makes about 1½ quarts of soup. Chill the soup, then divide among chilled bowls and garnish with the almonds, grapes and paprika oil before serving.

Each of 6 servings (without garnish): 89 calories; 4 grams protein; 11 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 3 grams fat; 2 grams saturated fat; 8 mg cholesterol; 9 grams sugar; 1,197 mg sodium.