Thursday, June 23, 2011

On A Lighter Note

When I lived in Denver, there was this wonderful little soup shop that made about 20 different kinds of soup everyday, year round. I would call and listen to a recording of what they had to offer, then make my way there. It was heaven to me and I often dream of opening such a place here. Soups are just so comforting. In the winter, I gravitate towards warm, hearty soups. But, in the summer, I adore soups on the lighter side. Gazpacho is always a fav of mine. So refreshing! Gazpacho is a liquid salad that originated in Spain. There are many different versions. These are two ways I like to prepare. Both are easy & fast. Perfect.

Traditional Gazpacho

2 cloves garlic; minced
1 small cucumber; peeled, seeded, and diced
1 red onion; diced
1 green bell pepper; diced
4 tomatoes; seeded; diced
4 cups tomato juice
Pinch red pepper flakes
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup pine nuts; toasted
Kosher salt & Pepper

Put all the veggies in a food processor and pulse until it is coarsely chopped.

Pour in a large bowl and add the garlic, red pepper flakes. olive oil, vinegar, sugar, and salt & pepper. Garnish with toasted pine nuts. Enjoy alongside a toasted piece of thick, crusty bread.

*Sometimes I like to add shrimp to the soup*

Watermelon Gazpacho

6 cups seeded watermelon; cubed
3 tomatoes; diced
2 stalks of celery; diced
1 cucumber; peeled, seeded, and diced
1 red bell pepper; diced
1 jalapeno; seeded and diced
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh mint; chopped
2 tablespoons pepitas (roasted pumpkin seeds)
Kosher Salt & Pepper

Put all BUT 1 cup the watermelon, mint, and jalapeno in a food processor. Pulse until coarsely chopped. Pour into a bowl, and add the 1 cup of cubed watermelon, jalapeno, and mint. ALWAYS check your seasonings. Add more salt & pepper if needed. Pour into a bowl or cup, sprinkle with pepitas, and garnish with a piece of watermelon. Enjoy :)

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