We’re in the midst of a heat wave here in Toronto and I am not going to lie – I love it! What I do not love is cooking in this heat, even though I live in a condo with a/c – i despise a/c and only put it on when desperate. Yesterday the temperature was something like 43C with the humidity and when I got home all I wanted to do was fall face-first into the pool in our building. I looked in the window on my way home from work (it’s an indoor pool on the ground floor) and saw that there was already a family with a very young baby splashing around – um, no. So I went for a horrible, boiling hot run instead.
After that there was no way I was going to cook anything, and the mister was already collapsed in an overheated heap in the living room. We wanted to just make something quick and easy so we grabbed a bunch of vegetables and fresh herbs from our garden, threw em into the blender and voila! Gazpacho!
“What’s that?” you may ask. Why, it’s tomato soup, served ice cold! Doesn’t that sound great?
In all seriousness, I assure you it is the perfect dinner for a hot, muggy summer night. The stove does not get turned on once, and everything in it is raw – so it’s quite healthy! Also vegan if you use a vegan Worcestershire sauce. You’ll need a decent blender for this. I suppose a hand blender would also work but you might end up looking like an extra from a horror film. Easy-peasy recipe below:
“It’s too damn hot to cook” Gazpacho:
(serves 2 big dinner portions with about 1.5 cups leftover for lunch the next day)
Approx 3 – 3.5 cups tomatoes (can be cherry or hot house, the more flavourful the better), chopped up
1/2 a seedless cucumber, chopped up
2 stalks of celery, chopped up smallish (just so it’s easier on your blender!)
1/2 a medium yellow or red pepper, seeded and chopped up
1/2 red onion, chopped up
2 cloves of garlic, minced up a bit so you don’t get a hunk of raw garlic in your soup – that would be unpleasant.
Handful of whatever fresh herbs you have (we used basil, parsley, and chives), chopped up a little. Reserve a few of the basil leaves whole for garnish.
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce (or vegan substitute)
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
Pinch or so of sea salt (to taste)
A few grinds of fresh black pepper (to taste)
A few shakes of your favourite hot sauce (we used Louisiana’s finest, Crystal sauce, because I love it and hoard bottles of it because we can’t get it in Canada – want to send me some?!). Plus a few more shakes to finish each bowl if you are so inclined.
We don’t own the most amazing blender so I did everything in batches but if you are lucky enough to own one of those vitamix things, just chuck everything in at once!
If not, throw tomatoes into blender and pulse. Then add in cucumbers and celery, pulse, then the rest of the ingredients and pulse until at desired consistency. We wanted ours to be fairly smooth but you could definitely leave out a few of the vegetables until the very end, chop them up fine and throw them in for some texture. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. Ideally you would chill the soup for a while before serving but hey, we were hungry. Ladle into bowls and shake a few drops of hot sauce on top if desired. (We also added in a spoonful of Mr.Spinner’s Kale and Hemp seed pesto that we had in the fridge but it’s still delicious without any added extras). Garnish with reserved basil leaves and serve with some crusty bread for dipping. You’ll be surprised at how filling this is!
Make this for dinner and you WILL win friends with salad!
I cannot ever resist an opportunity to quote from The Simpsons.