I’d like to start off by saying thank you to all of you who have emailed me this week with well wishes. Even though we’ve never met, we share a connection through our love of food, and that makes us something more than strangers. I’m so appreciative of your emails; it’s nice to know how many thoughtful readers are out there.
It hasn’t been too terrible finding soft foods to eat. So far I’ve had yogurt, oatmeal, eggs, beans, tofu, fruit, and a giant pot of chili — which in retrospect, maybe wasn’t the best choice in this sub-Saharan heat wave we’re going through.
Tonight I decided to go for cooling and refreshing. I made gazpacho.
Gazpacho’s never been my cup of tea. It’s the idea of it: “Cold soup.” Kind of grosses me out. Soup should be hot; if it’s cold, my first inclination is to throw it in the microwave.
But this seemed like the perfect time to revisit gazpacho, and I found a recipe on the Bitchin’ Camero blog that looked promising. I left off the recipe’s crunchy toppings, and stuck with the basic soup with croutons.
1 1/2 lbs ripe tomatoes, peeled and seeded
4 cups cubed stale bread
1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
1 jalapeno, seeded
1/2 bell pepper (not in the original recipe)
3 tbsp sherry vinegar
3 tbsp olive oil
juice of 1/2 lime
1 tsp salt
3 cloves garlic
The whole thing’s a 10-minute process, start to finish. Blend all the ingredients until smooth, let it sit for five minutes, and adjust for taste. Chill until ready to serve.
I made the croutons with the extra stale bread, tossing them in olive oil until browned.
And sprinkling them on top of the gazpacho.
The problem isn’t the flavor. The flavor’s great — bright, tart and garlicky, with the right amount of acid and the taste of the fresh vegetables shining through.
No, my problem is with the essence of gazpacho itself: the temperature. I just can’t get past the fact that it’s cold. Doesn’t seem natural, like drinking a soup that’s been sitting on the stovetop for too long. The croutons helped a lot, but after two bowls, I was done.
Oh, well. You can’t like everything, and now I know for certain gazpacho’s not for me. I still have a ton left over. Who wants some?