Secret Ingredient Gazpacho

Thanks to the Cleveland Culinary Launch Kitchen, food-focused small businesses are booming in Cleveland. Each week, new products are hitting the streets, all fueled by passionate cooks. CCLK is home to businesses offering luscious small batch jams,  hand-shaped bagels, and even the best popsicles you’ll ever eat. One of our favorite recent finds has to be the sauerkraut from Cleveland Kraut.  It’s so good that I’ve been finding new ways to add it to our meals in unexpected ways, such as this Secret Ingredient Gazpacho.

For us, gazpacho is a summer staple. We devour it for lunch on it’s own, or pair it with a sandwich such as tempeh salad pockets or cucumber cream cheese sandwiches. As a kid, the only tomato-ey food that I’d eat was ketchup. How things have changed! These days, I can’t get enough of tomatoes.

Cleveland Kraut usually features 4 kinds of kraut: Classic Caraway,  Sweet Red, Curry, and our favorite, the Gnar Gnar. We like them all, but the garlic, sriracha, hot peppers, and leeks take the Gnar Gnar to an otherworldly wonderful. It’s the perfect choice to pack a punch to this gazpacho. For a quick and flavorful dinner, grill a field roast sausage, pop it in the bun, pile on the kraut, and douse it with barbecue sauce. We pick up our kraut at the North Union Farmer’s Market at Shaker Square.  Note that the kraut sometimes sells out, so you might want to make it your first stop at the market. We do.

The photo shows the Classic Caraway, as the Gnar Gnar is always the first one we run out of. Any sauerkraut will work in this, but finding locally made, organic kraut is sure to be worth any extra effort. Your tastebuds will thank you.


Secret Ingredient Gazpacho

Secret Ingredient Gazpacho

If you hadn’t just read the earlier part of this post, I’m willing to guess you’d never know what the secret ingredient is! Try it on your own family or friends and see if they can tell what brings instant umami to this quick and easy gazpacho.

1 (32-ounce) jar organic tomato juice

1 cup minced onion

3/4 cup minced, peeled cucumber

1 stalk celery, minced

1 (15-ounce can) fire-roasted diced tomatoes

1/2 cup drained sauerkraut, minced

1 tablespoon minced fresh dill, or 1 teaspoon dried

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon celery salt

1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke, or to taste

Salt and pepper, to taste


Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour for the flavors to meld. Taste and adjust the seasonings when serving.

Yield: 4 servings

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