Friday, October 28, 2016

Grub at Home: Evil Gazpacho

Two years ago, I turned 32 in DC.  I was visiting the Evil One, who was waist-deep in Spanish classes, a language she needed for her next (current - remember when I visited Peru last year?) post.  We had a picnic and watched Casablanca at Wolf Trap.  The next day after church we had a little birthday dinner with some of her DC friends, and she made me...something.  I don't remember what it was, but she decided it wasn't healthy enough on its own, so she made gazpacho as well.

I was not entirely sure that I was down with this.  I had no idea what gazpacho was - it's a Spanish soup, she reassured me, which was not altogether reassuring because I'm not much of a soup eater - but, hell, Evil is a pretty good cook and of the recipes I've collected, maybe a quarter of them come from her family, so I went with it.  And when all was said and done, I ended up adding this recipe to my book, as well.
It's two years later, and I've just made gazpacho for the second time.  It's a great recipe for summer, because it's one of only two soups I know that are served cold (the other one is Korean naeng-myeon, but I can't tell you how to cook that - sorry!)  Anyways, I decided I'd share the recipe for it with you today.  Here's what you need to do: chop up 5 tomatoes, 2 cucumbers, one red onion, and a green pepper.  I didn't want to eat gazpacho for the next two weeks, so I halved the recipe.
Next you have to start adding the juicy stuff.  Specifically, 2 teaspoons of garlic (I used two small cloves, and this was too much for my half-recipe), 4 cups of cold water, 1/4 cup of red wine vinegar, 4 teaspoons of salt, 4 tablespoons of olive oil, and 1 tablespoon of tomato paste.  I went out looking for red wine vinegar, but couldn't find it at either of the two closest grocery stores, so I decided to wing it with balsamic.  Was this a good choice?  Wait and see...
So after you've put everything in the bowl, mix it up, then let it chill so the flavors can mingle.  Doesn't look too bad, eh?  On the other hand, if - unlike me - you've actually eaten gazpacho before, you may be thinking it looks NOTHING like this.  That's because Evil's mommy (from whom the recipe originally came) doesn't blend it.  I like it just fine chunky like this, but since I am now the proud owner of Domestic Goddess' blender, I thought I'd give that a try.
As you can see, blending it changes it a LOT.  It tasted fine, and I didn't even mind the consistency; it changed it from being a really wet Greek Salad sans feta into an actual soup, although honestly I prefer the crunchy texture of the unblended version a lot better.  However, this is where substituting the balsamic was a bad idea.  It just doesn't look very appetizing anymore.  I had to do an image search to make sure this is what actually happened, and sure enough, it is not supposed to have this brown-ish color.  I think apple cider vinegar would have been a better substitution, although I didn't have any of that, either.  Thinking on your feet and making clever substitutions is something you have to do a lot as an expat.  I'll talk about that next Wednesday, so be sure to check in then.


  1. It looks so colourful, must try this for myself one day!

    1. You should! It's super-easy, too. Thanks for the comment.