Fresh summer flavors are Provence in a pot. This recipe will transport you to the bright, light Mediterranean. Cold tomato soup is made from garden tomatoes, then served with gluten-free toast layered with black olive spread. While I had this dish in southern France, gazpacho hails from the Andalusia region of southern Spain.
In this post on eating vegetarian in France, I mentioned how difficult it was to find veg food. If you’re vegan or follow a raw diet and want to visit France, head south to Provence or the Southern coast. The food is much lighter and fresher, and you’ll have an easier time following your healthy diet there. Make sure to carry translations with you describing your food preferences (I’d call them “allergies,” as I don’t think the French really understand veganism), call ahead for reservations, and ideally have a translation program live on your smartphone. (We used Transfire on the iPhone.) Bring packaged trail mix with you, and expect to eat mostly salads.
After three days in Lyon, where sticks of butter and heavy cream are found in every dish, we took the high-speed train to Avignon. Avignon is a gorgeous medieval city complete with a papal palace.
This restaurant was directly opposite our hotel, and we happily plopped into comfy chairs under the patio umbrellas for our first Provencal meal. I chose Pot de Provence, a chunky cold tomato soup topped with grilled eggplant and zucchini slices and lightly dressed salad, served with tapenade toast in a wonderful little jar. Minus the fresh cheese balls it was probably vegan and possibly raw. And so delicious, I felt like I’d come home.
I tried to get the actual recipe for this soup from the restaurant, but had no luck, so here is my healthy version, gluten- and sugar-free.
vegan, gluten-free, low-sodium, reduced-sugar diets
All of our recipes are gluten-free, sugar-free, and made with plant-based ingredients to help you build a healthy life. Look for midweek posts on meditation and life lessons, helping you create inner balance.
- 16 ounces tomatoes fresh garden or farmer's market
- 8 ounces bell peppers red, organic
- 14 ounces cucumbers
- 1/4 cup olive oil (extra virgin) the best you've got
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar balsamic vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 sprigs savory (fresh)
- 2 sprigs thyme (fresh)
- 1-1/2 tsp sea salt (omit for low sodium diet)
- 1 slice bread (gluten-free) stale or well-toasted
- Wash the tomatoes and peppers. Peel the cucumbers and take off the ends. Cut the cucumbers lengthwise, remove the seeds with a grapefruit spoon, and roughly chop.
- Roughly chop the tomatoes, removing the seeds and goo before cutting up. Core the peppers, removing the ribs and seeds. Roughly chop the peppers.
- Mince or press the garlic into the bowl, and add everything but the bread. Mix and refrigerate 30 minutes to overnight to let the flavors develop.
- When you are ready to make the soup: Soak the bread in cold water for about 20 minutes. Squeeze out the gluten-free bread, tear it into chunks, and add to the mixture.
- Process the mixture using a food processor, blender, or juicer with the blank in. You can make it fairly smooth before adding the bread, but don't overprocess it with the bread included or you'll lose the nice thickening the bread provides.
- Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve with gluten-free toast spread with black olive tapenade.
- 189 calories
- 15 g fat
- 2 g saturated fat
- 11 g monounsaturated fat
- 2 g polyunsaturated fat
- 0 g trans fat
- 0 g cholesterol
- 609 mg sodium (47 mg with salt omitted)
- 508 mg potassium
- 15 g carbohydrate
- 3 g fiber
- 7 g sugars
- 2 g protein
- 5 Weight Watchers Points Plus