Imagine warm summer evening, when the table is set up outside, pieces of rustic bread are slightly covered with the kitchen towel, garlic infused olive oil sitting near by, glasses are filled with some crispy Sauvignon blanc, a casual conversation is taking place and chilled tomato soup, made from today’s harvest is the whole reason of the gathering.
This has never happened to me. I have never made gazpacho (not even a watermelon one, unless we are talking about a smoothie sort of meal).
I remember trying gazpacho only once. Table was set up almost outside, on the terrace of an Italian restaurant, located on a corner of a hidden street in Moscow. Instead of rustic peices of bread there was pizza and a very pleasant conversation with my close friend took place.
There was something charming in that day and that lunch we shared, but I haven’t thought about gazpacho since we paid that bill.
Last weekend we got a ton of tomatoes from our favorite farmer. I fitted in the fridge as many as I could, but the sink was still full. I made tomato jam from most of them, but A LOT were still waiting for their turn. After making jam for hours I knew I didn’t want to cook tomatoes again.
The idea of gazpacho came all of a sudden. I had to fix a dinner, holding Frederic at the same time. Throwing a few vegetables into a blender and utilizing tomatoes at the same time sounded like a plan to go with.
I haven’t looked up for any recipe, so don’t judge for ‘improper’ gazpacho.
I added avocado and hemp seeds for creaminess to balance out the water content of the tomatoes. Frederic was tasting with me. After we blended all the vegetables his face looked like he just ate a whole lemon. After we added spices, he asked for more.
The ‘cho’ sound in the end of the word ‘gazpacho’ gives the soup some smokiness so I used a little bit of smoked paprika for that reason (tomato powder would be great too to make it even more tomaty). I’m pretty sure fennel might work well instead, but my hands were too busy for using mortal and pestle.
makes 2 servings
4 very ripe tomatoes
1/2 sweet white onion
2 tbsp hemp seeds
1/2 big cucumber peeled (or a whole small one)
a few strings of each: basil and cilantro, plus a few mint leaves
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 black pepper
1/2 tsp (or more to taste) smoked paprika
1/4 cayenne (optional, but a bit of heat really brings the flavours together)
1. Blend all the vegetables, hemp seeds and greens, reserving some cilantro and basil for garnishing.
2. Add spices and adjust to taste.
3. Pour into a soup bowls and garnish with a string of cilantro, basil leaf and freshly ground black pepper. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar (or lime juice) and sprinkle some hemp seeds on top.
I also made croutons from the seedy dark bread (cut in cubes, mix with olive oil and toast for about 3-5 minutes) and fresh spring rolls filled with spinach, zucchini, carrots, tempeh, radishes and diced red onion to make the dinner more complete.