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Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Gazpacho

When life gives you squishy tomatoes ... make gazpacho.

Gazpacho

The heat has continued. I am not much interested in cooking (surprise) but noted this morning as I was doing Kitchen Patrol that a number of the tomatoes on the dish had developed soft spots. As I had provided myself with a cucumber (in an attempt at Unsympathetic Food Magick), the solution was obvious. I figured that either the heat would break, or I would have something suitable to eat.

It turned out to be very pretty as I had green, red, yellow, and orange tomatoes and orange and yellow peppers. Since I had an English cucumber, I only half-peeled some strips off, so the soup was greener than usual.

This recipe is a bit free form as I tend to make it with what I've got, didn't measure the tomatoes once chopped to see amounts, and definitely do the sherry vinegar by taste.

Gazpacho

In a non-reactive container of some sort, combine:

Selection of ripe tomatoes, diced in thumbnail or smaller pieces
(this is really pretty if you have multi-colored) - I think this worked out to about three medium, although you should play this one by ear
1 sweet bell pepper, diced (yellow or orange is attractive)
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1 cucumber, seeded, peeled or diced or 1/2-2/3 English cucumber (seeding and peeling not quite so important, but dice)

Good quality tomato juice. Sacramento Tomato is good. I usually use a 14 oz can or two of "Spicy V-8" juice as I can find it more reliably in my grocery.
2-3 tablespoons sherry wine vinegar or more to taste
Salt and pepper to taste

Normally I put in a shallot, diced fine. This time I passed on it. Most recipes call for raw onion, which I don't much like. It was fine without it. I also often make this before real tomatoes have come in (one of our standard hot seasons is in April) with Muir Glen diced.

Chill this for at least an hour. You can encourage it by putting ice cubes in the bowl.

I eat this with croutons, made by dicing sourdough bread and frying up in olive oil with Penzey's "Sandwich Sprinkle" as seasoning. As I had hard-boiled eggs around, I diced one up and put it on top, too.

[Since I am clearing this post out of draft, I will note that the heat stayed as long as the soup did.]

More soup


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