I recently found out that a co-worker is also Hispanic and we've decided to try speaking to each other in Spanish for practice. Both our parents wanted to learn English when they came to the U.S. so kept the Spanish language a private language between spouses rather than pass it on to their children. A shame, but there it is. As a result, we can get the gist of what people are talking about but that's about it.
So what does that have to do with gazpacho? Well, I've got tons of tomatoes coming in the gardens and my good friend, Maria Elena (same name as me--that's why we're such good friends, also because she's Spanish, just kidding!) gave me a wonderful and easy recipe last summer for gazpacho. Gazpacho is a raw cold soup originating in Spain. I prefer it room temperature but, on a very hot day, it really is refreshing!
Unfortunately, the weather isn't cooperating with me on this and it has been cold, cloudy, & rainy here. But I'm hopeful.
From Cooking Spanish by John Newton:
1 green pepper, seeded & chopped (I didn't have so used another jalapeno!)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded & chopped (or leave seeds in if you like it hot!)
1 tsp sugar
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil (I used only 2 & it was fine)
diced cucumber, tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, rice or other leftover grains, or even crushed tortilla chips
The recipe calls for removing the skins of the tomatoes but I tried, even using the boiling water soak. So I left them on & it was absolutely fine. So feel free to skip this cumbersome step.
Put everything in a blender except the oil. Puree until smooth. Add oil then puree again. Allow to chill for at least 2 hours to blend flavors. Done!
I made it last night then enjoyed it for lunch today with chopped cherry tomatoes, raw onion, & leftover brown rice.