Ornamental Plaster Sculpting, Mural Painting, Faux Finishing, and Imaginative Interior Design.

Ornamental Plaster Sculpting, Mural Painting, Faux Finishing, and Imaginative Interior Design.
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Monday, July 15, 2013

Guzzlicious gazpacho...really.

I am my mother's daughter.  
  (Her name is Carolyn, and she is a chef.)
I went on vacation.
  (Childhood vacations are full of memories of Mom testing every dish every kid ordered, at every      restaurant)  
I did not have to cook. 
  (You know where this is going.) 
Until an eight year old got very excited about $7 a liter gazpacho.
  (A kid begs you to buy veggies and you wouldn't be intrigued?)

Technically, figuring out what made this the best gazpacho I ever tasted (okay, the only gazpacho I ever tasted that I actually liked, and I like this a lot) did not require cooking, just tasting, sleuthing, and blending.

The sample guy in the market looked pleased to have a prospective sale dragged to his table by an excited child.  We tasted, we liked, we read the ingredients, we read the price sticker.  The sample guy drooped a bit as we headed for the produce aisle.

One read through the ingredients told me there wasn't anything artificially flavoring it, and there wasn't anything different, yet somehow this gazpacho, though still tasting very fresh, had a more robust flavor than usual.  On the second mouthful, I knew it was the tomato, and I knew how to intensify that.  This recipe is classic, but with one extra ingredient.  We (said child's mother and I) turbo-boosted the tomato flavor with a little tomato paste.  Little trick, huge difference in flavor.

Both Soren, and his little brother Kai had multiple bowls of this fresh summer soup, which we served with slices of toasted peasant bread topped with mozzarella.  Granted, these kids are vegetarians, but even if yours aren't, if they aren't in an anti-tomato phase, you might try this one on them.  Especially if your weather forecast is like ours, and calling for a heat index in the triple digits over the next few days.
Guzzlicious Gazpacho

8-12 tomatoes
1-3 cucumbers (peeled, if not organic)
2 red bell peppers (seeded)
1 green bell pepper (seeded)
1-3 Tbs minced garlic
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 cans tomato paste
Chop veggies small enough for blender, then blend in batches, transferring puree to a large bowl.

Add these a bit at a time, stirring well:
about 1 tsp salt
about 1/4 cup sherry vinegar, balsamic vinegar,
(or cider vinegar + sherry or port)

This fills a small punch bowl about half full,
and makes oodles of small servings,
or about 8-10 large servings

I know, I know.   I go to Belgium and come home with a recipe for Spanish soup.  I was on vacation.  Just be happy I wrote down at least one recipe.  Besides, whatever you think of Belgian gazpacho, I know my mama will be pleased.

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