Broccoli and Cauliflower Gazpacho with Cheesy Croutons
Frozen vegetables get a bad rap sometimes, but they’re not only handy to keep in the freezer, they retain a lot of their nutrients because they’re flash-frozen after harvest. Cauliflower and broccoli make for a fun twist on gazpacho, especially when served together in the same bowl!
For the gazpacho: Place the cashews in a small bowl and cover with the boiling water. Let soak for 15 minutes. Drain and allow to cool slightly; reserve the soaking water.
Combine the cauliflower, half the zucchini (about 1/2 cup), half of the torn bread, half the red onion, 1 clove of garlic, 1 tablespoon of the vinegar and 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a blender. Add half the soaked cashews and blend on high, adding the reserved soaking water 1 or 2 tablespoons at a time to help the mixture blend until smooth and creamy but not too thin. Pour the cauliflower soup into a container and chill for at least 30 minutes.
Using the same blender (you don’t need to wash it out), combine the broccoli with the remaining zucchini, bread, red onion, 1 clove garlic, 1 tablespoon vinegar, and 1 tablespoon oil. Add the remaining soaked cashews and blend on high, again adding reserved soaking water 1 or 2 tablespoons at a time to help the mixture blend until smooth and creamy but not too thin. Pour the broccoli soup into a container and chill for at least 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, for the toasted cheese croutons: Preheat the broiler. Spread a thin layer of Dijon mustard on one side of each baguette slice, then sprinkle each with 2 tablespoons of the cheese and drizzle with oil. Place on a small sheet pan and broil until the cheese is just melted and bubbling and the edges of the bread are just starting to crisp. Allow to cool slightly before serving with the soup.
When ready to serve, stir a 1/2 cup of the chilled sparkling water and a 1/2 teaspoon of lemon zest into each soup and season each to taste with salt and pepper. Divide the cauliflower soup evenly between each of 4 soup bowls, pouring on the left side of the bowl. Then divide the broccoli evenly between the same bowls, now pouring on the right side to create two distinct soups side-by-side in the same bowl. Garnish each bowl with a toasted cheese crouton and serve immediately.