Hello beautiful Luminous Community. 2014 is upon us and like many around Australia and the world I am back into the swing of things sitting at my desk preparing some lovely posts to bring you. Did you make many resolutions this New Years? Have you been keeping to them so far? One of mine was to be a better planner in planning trips, posts, events, you name it oh and to learn how to use technology properly. I have external hard drives that I need to format for my mac that, in the past, I haven’t gotten around to figuring out how to do, but no more will it get the better of me. Patience. I will practice this more. I am also going to be doing my first shoot with my new Canon 70D camera this week and I am beyond excited! But first I have some fresh, healthy and easy recipes to kick off the new year with because if you feel anything like me right now, some lighter recipes are just the key.
I love how Spanish food is always packed full of flavor and I can’t believe in the whole year that I lived on the island of Mallorca, Spain (2012) I never had gazpacho. I didn’t see it on many menus there and perhaps that is because it actually originates from the Southern region of Spain, Andalusia.
Gazpacho is a soup that is served cold and because of its refreshing qualities it is widely eaten in hot summer months. We’ve been experiencing a major heat wave here in Australia, this morning Corey and I were up at 5.30 to go for a run and it was already 26C and humid. We were drenched by the time we got back and even a swim in the pool didn’t refresh and all I want to eat today is cold gazpacho. I know its probably the last thing my friends in the States want to be eating right now with the wintery weather you are experiencing there but perhaps this is one you can keep tucked away for July.
The key to a good gazpacho is beautiful fresh, ripe tomatoes. We had about 8 sitting on our kitchen countertop and every day I vowed to do something with them but they still sat there for a few days and when I came across this recipe for gazpacho, I was so inspired to give it a go. It was delicious. Because my tomatoes were so ripe, they gave the gazpacho such a rich depth of flavor. So I strongly encourage you, when you make this, to use almost overly ripe tomatoes.
You can blitz the soup in your processor to your desired consistency. I personally prefer it to be a bit more chunky than smooth. Most traditional recipes call for a piece of stale bread but to keep it grain free I haven’t included that in my recipe. I also like it really tart from the red wine vinegar so I added more than I have put in the recipe here. You can adjust it to your liking.
I made this one with only a 1/4 of a cucumber but you can add more ( only had a 1/4 cucumber in the fridge) It makes the color a much deeper and appealing red to leave out the cucumber but you up the goodness by keeping it in. You can add all sorts of extras at the end. I chopped up some grape tomatoes and green mild chilli for extra chunk and garnished it with bean sprout shoots.
Gazpacho makes such a great starter to a hot summers dinner party. I loved it so much I even ate it for breakfast this morning ( It was amazing). The flavors get better over a day or so in the fridge so make it ahead of time.
- 1 kg tomatoes, skinned*
- ½ punnet grape tomatoes
- 1 red pepper, seeds and pith removed
- ½ small English cucumber
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 green chilli, deseeded and finely diced
- 45 ml extra virgin olive oil
- 30 ml apple cider vinegar
- 30ml red wine vinegar
- sea salt and black pepper
- Bring a pot of water to boil on the stove. Make a shallow cross in the skins on the bottom of the tomatoes and carefully place them in the boiling water for 30 seconds then plunge them into ice cold water . The skins should now peel away really easily.
- Roughly chop the tomatoes and place them in the food processor along with the roughly chopped garlic, red pepper and cucumber. Blitz until you get your desired consistency. Add the vinegars, olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper and mix through.
- Add chopped chilli, grape tomatoes and chill in the fridge for a minimum of 4 hours before serving. Garnish with fresh herbs like basil or bean sprout shoots.