How long does the temperature have to hover near 100 degrees before we can no longer declare we are having a “heat wave”?
So often that now, when the temperature happens to dip below 90, we refer to it as a “cool spell”.
I had never been a fan of gazpacho until a fellow CSA farm worker pointed me in the direction of a traditional Spanish recipe. A Spanish teacher during the school year, he searched for a recipe that embodied the soup he had enjoyed while spending one summer in Spain. Different than the customary soupy salsa-style gazpacho, he explained, the Spanish make it silky smooth by pushing it through a sieve before serving.
After scoring some tomatoes and green peppers at the farm, I decided to break out the blender on a day that was too hot to fire up the oven, let alone the grill. After trying it both ways, however, I decided I preferred the gazpacho unstrained.
Be liberal and creative with fresh garnishes. Toasted bread crumbs, feta, bleu cheese, toasted almonds, chopped cucumber, cilantro, or pea shoots are all delicious toppings for this flavorful, cool soup.
Summer Gazpacho (barely adapted from Jose Andres’ cookbook, Tapas: A Taste of Spain in America)
2 pounds ripe red tomatoes
8 ounces cucumber (about 1 cucumber)
3 ounces green pepper (about 1/2 bell pepper)
1/4 small red onion
2 Tbsp sherry vinegar
1 garlic clove, peeled
2 Tbsp almond flour
3/4 cup olive oil
Salt to taste
Core the tomatoes and chop roughly. place in blender. Peel cucumber and cut into chunks. Cut the pepper in half, discard seeds and chop into large pieces. Add both, along with onion, to tomatoes in the blender.
Add the garlic, vinegar, and almond flour to the vegetables and blend until it becomes a thick liquid. Add olive oil and season with salt to taste.
Refrigerate at least one hour before serving.
Pour into bowl or cup and drizzle with olive oil, if desired. Garnish with fresh herbs, cheese, nuts and/or chopped vegetables.