First off — winner of the Unums (Unuii?) and JM Teas is Sapphire!
We’re in the midst of one of those sultry heat waves along the mid-Atlantic. Running errands in my car a couple days ago, the temperature gauge didn’t dip below 100 (that’s 37.7 Celsius) until I left the grocery store at 8pm. The humidity makes it even hotter, and stops it from cooling off overnight. On Saturday my home A/C broke, because of course it did. I was thrilled to be able to get the landlord to wangle a visit from the HVAC repair tech. Until that happened we went old school. I know how to do it because (crazy as it seems) I grew up in this area without air conditioning. You shut the blinds, turn on the attic fan to draw the heat out, and move downstairs to the ground floor. In weather like this, I refuse to do any cooking that involves the stove or oven, so it’s a lot of salads and sandwiches.
And gazpacho. I never had gazpacho until I started vacationing in the summer with my husband’s family, and my mother-in- law made it every day. Hers was a complicated, multi-hour affair involving trips to the farmer’s market (twice), blanching of tomatoes on the stove, walking to a neighbor’s herb garden, etc. Then we had to wait hours for it to chill in the fridge. No matter how long it took, it was worth it. I was hooked with that first tangy swig.
Over time I’ve learned what I like in a gazpacho – some diced bits remaining, rather than finely pureed (which makes it too much like tomato soup). More olive oil and less vinegar, since the tomatoes are already acidic. And finally: if I’m making gazpacho it’s probably hot as hell outside, which calls for minimum effort rather than endless fussing.
Don’t let anyone tell you there’s a “right” way to make gazpacho. As this delightful article from a Madrid chef notes, gazpacho is as individual as each family’s beloved recipe. You do you. If you’re a gazpacho fan, I recommend reading that article, because it’s got all sorts of great ideas for tweaks and variations.
If you haven’t made gazpacho because it seems too complicated – it can be as simple (and delicious) as this recipe, which uses canned tomatoes and takes maybe 10 minutes and is absolutely delicious. If that isn’t blowing your skirt up, google “easy gazpacho” and choose something different.
Since clearly I’m not doing a perfume review today (sorry!) here’s March’s Lazy-Ass Kombuchapacho™. Cheers.
2 14-oz cans diced tomatoes (use one with the hot green chilies if you want)
half a red or white onion, chopped
one crushed clove garlic, if you want (or use garlic powder, I don’t care)
half cup kombucha (add more as you go, if you want the soup thinner)
fresh herbs (basil, mint, tarragon, or oregano – you choose)
Tablespoon of olive oil
salt and pepper
Throw all that in the blender or food processor till it’s finely chopped but not totally pureed, unless you want it pureed, which is fine, knock yourself out. Chill for an hour (you and the soup.)
NOTES: you can add chopped, seeded cucumber and bell pepper if you’re less lazy than me, which is likely. I use kombucha in place of the same amount of water/vinegar because the end result is less acidic and more umami. At this point I think kombucha’s the new iced tea (which is where you find it at the grocer’s, it comes in a chilled bottle), so it’s not hard to get. I like the GT Ginger one.