Gorgeous Gazpacho!

This is one of the best things I have ever made.  I was transported back to Spain as soon as I took my first mouthful.  Last summer I had the most amazing food in Barcelona, and one of my favourites was gazpacho.  So many meals were started off with this lovely cold soup; I ordered it almost every day.  I never thought I would like a cold soup, but it was so refreshing and flavourful.  I didn’t get a chance to make any last summer, and since winter tomatoes are pretty much tasteless, I waited until summer to try the recipe.

Love.  It.

And it requires no cooking, just some chopping, pureeing, and chilling.  My favourite version was topped with finely diced bits of the soup ingredients, so this one has diced tomato, red pepper, and some of the bread fried in a little olive oil.  I forgot to keep a little of the cucumber aside for the topping, but I recommend that you chop up a little of that too.

I got the recipe here, but I used less onion than the recipe called for. The recipe says it’s for four people, but I think it feeds a lot more people than that.


What you need:

1 pound of tomatoes

1 cucumber

1/2 a medium-sized sweet onion (the recipe called for two – way to much for me)

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 cups bread (plus more for the topping)

2 red bell peppers

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

7 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons water

salt to taste

What you do:

1. Soak the bread in water for a few minutes, then squeeze most of the water out with your hands.

2. Puree all the veggies, bread, vinegar and water, then slowly add the olive oil to blend it in.  Salt and pepper to taste.

3. Put the soup in the fridge to chill.

4. Dice a little tomato, cucumber and red pepper for garnishing

5. Cut the remaining bread into very small cubes.  Heat a frying pan, then pour in some olive oil.  Add the bread and toss it around the pan until it is slightly browned.

A nice way to serve this is to ladle the soup into individual bowls, then have the toppings in separate bowls so everyone can garnish as they wish.

Fresh Salsa

Homemade salsa is easy to make, as long as you’ve got really great tomatoes.  Over the winter you can still make it, but it won’t be nearly as good as when you make it with tomatoes ripe from the garden or farmer’s market.

What you need:

3-4 tomatoes

1/4 sweet onion*, finely diced

1 jalapeno pepper, finely diced


1/2 freshly squeezed lime

a pinch of sugar may be needed

optional: cilantro

What you do:

1. Cut up tomato into chunks of about 1 cm.  Place in a colander over a bowl to drain.

2. Add a little chopped onion, and a diced jalapeno pepper.  If you don’t want it to be very hot, take out the seeds.  That’s where most of the heat is.

3.  After the tomatoes have drained, add the rest of the ingredients.

4.  After letting it sit for a while to allow the flavours to mingle, have a taste and adjust the salt and lime juice as needed.  You may also want to add a pinch of sugar.

5.  I like to let the salsa sit for a while, then serve at room temperature with tortillas, fajitas and lots of other dishes.


* I prefer to use sweet onion because I tend to cry less – if you’ve got very sensitive eyes, you know how important this is.  Especially if you’re expecting company.  I also think they taste great!