If ever there was a time for cold soup, last week was it! The temperature soared to over thirty degrees Celsius and the humidity was off the charts.
While many folk enjoyed the heat by the pool, lake or neighbourhood splash pad, my husband and I avoided it entirely in the comfort of heavily air conditioned furniture stores. It was a surprisingly fun adventure and a great way to stay cool. (Bonus: We scored some sweet couches.)
Another great way to keep cold on a hot day? Gazpacho!
I love how fresh-tasting this Italian chilled soup is and can easily throw back a couple of bowls in one sitting. Made with tomatoes, cucumbers, some bell pepper and fresh basil, gazpacho is chock full of cooling, flavourful ingredients. For just a hint of spice to awaken the palate, I included a jalapeno in the mix.
I originally intended for this to be a yellow gazpacho (I bought nice ripe yellow tomatoes with this specific recipe in mind), but for some reason it didn’t take. I assumed it would come out nice and yellow. Perhaps it had something to do with cucumber’s green hue since I left on the skin?
Mistake number two: I forgot to pick up yellow bell peppers to include in the soup, so I scrapped the yellow idea entirely and threw in a red bell pepper which brought the soup back to the classic red shade.
Lastly, I also forgot to add the fresh basil! Amateur mistakes notwithstanding, the soup tasted great. Give it a try this summer!
Recipe: Classic gazpacho with a spicy twist
- 6 medium-sized, ripe tomatoes, seeded and chopped
- 1 small red bell pepper, chopped
- 1/2 English cucumber, peeled and chopped
- 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
- 1 large sprig fresh basil (Note: If I had remembered the basil, you would have seen pretty green flecks throughout the soup)
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
Add all the ingredients to a large blender or food processor. Puree until blended but still slightly chunky; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Refrigerate for an hour or two before serving. Garnish with chopped tomatoes and cucumbers and drizzle with olive oil. Serve chilled.