Summer 2020 has been one like no other and it has come to a close. I bow out with a summer soup. Depending on which part of the world you from, summer soup is an oddity.
The part of the world I was born and raised in, our household only ate soup in the winter. Soup filled our bowls hot out the pot or pressure cooker with either dumplings or barely. It was one of those comfort foods that warmed you up on a cold day after school or work.
My soup world was spun around when I met my husband, and he’s family would eat hot soup on a day when the heat left you no other alternative than to drip with sweat. It may sound as strange to you as it does to me, but in his part of the world, where the temps are always above 20 degrees Celsius, they ate hot soup on a hot days. We’ve been married for a while, and I still struggle with the thought of eating soup in 25 plus temperatures!
So my soup story doesn’t end there. I moved to North America and learnt of cold soup. Once again, my world was flipped. I learnt of a soup called gazpacho. When I first heard the name gazpacho, I thought ah, it must be something like guacamole, and then I learnt it was a soup. Never before did I imagine cold soup! We have the Spaniards to thank for gazpacho. Thank you, Spain!
Enough personal and world history, here’s the recipe:
2 pounds ripe tomatoes
1 small cucumber, peeled and seeded
1 medium green bell pepper, cored
1/2 small red onion, peeled
2 small garlic cloves
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, (optional)
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly-cracked black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor.
Puree for a minute, or until the desired consistency.
Taste and season with extra salt, pepper and cumin if needed.
Refrigerate in a sealed container for 3 to 4 hours or until thoroughly chilled.
Serve cold, topped with your choice of garnishes.
6 slices of bread, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning,
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 pinch of fine sea salt
1 pinch of black pepper
1 tablespoon Parmesan Cheese (optional)
Preheat oven to 375°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
Drizzle the olive oil over the bread chunks in a bowl.
Sprinkle with seasoning; mix evenly.
Spread the bread cubes on the baking sheet.
Bake until golden, turn the bread halfway through cooking about 15-20 depending on the thickness.
Remove from oven, and let cool completely.
Use immediately, or store in an air-tight container for up to a week.
If you haven’t tried this recipe yet, you’ve gotta try before summer’s officially over! Can’t wait to read your soup story; tag me @TriednTriumphed.