Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Spring is Here!

...and with it our 1st batch of gazpacho. Aside from the warm weather and sunshine, it’s always the sound of the blender going in the kitchen that serves as a true harbinger of spring in our household.

My first encounter with this vegetal concoction was onscreen, in Almodovar’s “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown.” Remember when Pepa violently spiked her batch with sleeping pills and planned on serving it to her lover, who she suspected was leaving her?

Needless to say, ours is not so potent. But I’m sure the recipe is similar to Pepa’s, sans prescription meds. That is to say, this is the Castilian gazpacho, which is widely consumed in Spain, versus the Mexican version, which is chunky, and to me, more like salsa. It's the perfect warm weather soup.

5 tomatoes
2 carrots, peeled
1 medium cucumber
1 green pepper
2 garlic cloves
2 slices of day old bread
water, to taste
3 tablespoons of vinegar, to taste
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (..is there any other kind?)
salt, to taste
Makes approximately 1 liter.

I usually do the cooking in our house, but there are some things that I'm not allowed to even attempt. Gazpacho is one of them, and pasta. So here are the instructions, according to my husband:

"It's very easy. I put all the ingredients, chopped, in the blender, with the bread on very top. I add enough vinegar and water so that the bread becomes soft before blending.
After blending all the ingredients, I slowly add the olive oil until the mixture turns an orange color. Salt to taste.
Then, I pass the mixture through a sieve, to separate the liquid. You need to drink it cold, so leave in the refrigerator for an hour."

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