Because we’ve been living in swamp-like conditions for weeks now, all we want to eat is anything and everything cold. And since ice cream for lunch isn’t exactly nutritious, why not turn to gazpacho? Says registered dietitian Kait Fortunato, “Gazpacho is an excellent choice overall, especially in the summer. It’s a good way to sneak in vegetables that are cool and refreshing.”
Still, as with anything there are some potential nutrition no-no’s in gazpacho, such as high-sodium and fat content. Read on for Fortunato’s picks of the healthiest and worst gazpachos to order at DC’s popular lunch spots.
Worst: Sweetgreen’s seasonal gazpacho
Usually Sweetgreen is a winner for its salads, but Fortunato says she couldn’t ignore the seasonal gazpacho’s sodium content: a whopping 1,110 milligrams, which is more than half of our daily recommended intake.
Better: Zoup!’s chilled gazpacho
The soup chain’s gazpacho is low-fat, dairy free, and vegetarian, but its use of tomato juice and vegetable stock means it’s also high in salt. That alone is enough to take away from using fresh ingredients, Fortunato says.
Even better: Pret’s chilled gazpacho
Low in sodium, Pret’s gazpacho is already a winner. But add its use of colorful vegetables—tomatoes, cucumbers, and red, green, and yellow bell peppers—and you’ve got a wealth of various health benefits. Fortunato also likes the inclusion of balsamic vinegar, “which is high in antioxidants and provides lots of flavor without added calories, fat, or salt.”
Best: SouperGirl’s tomato gazpacho
The first good sign is that it uses homemade vegetable stock, which means the soup will naturally be lower in salt than store-bought options, says Fortunato. The addition of olive oil is a plus, thanks to its heart-health benefits. Add the use of local veggies, including tomato, cucumber, and bell pepper, and this gazpacho is the overall winner.
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