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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Authentic gazpacho, straight from Spain!

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Last time we spoke, I told you about my time living in Italy during college. Well before all that, I lived in Spain for 3 glorious, wonderful, spectacular years! {can you tell I loved it?!?!?} From 6th to 8th grade I called Rota, Spain home. For three years we absorbed every experience that Spain had to throw at us.  It. Was. Fabulous. During those three years we never came back to the U.S. instead vacationing all over Spain, Portugal and the rest of Europe. Not many people can say they were able to do that, and I'm forever grateful to my parents for making that decision in 1981 to take a chance and jump head-first into the unknown! Thirty plus years later we are still talking about it. That's pretty cool!


While there we pretty much ate our way through the entire country. Stopping only to have a Fanta or Cafe con Leche. Otherwise we were stuffing our faces with the most amazing food I've ever experienced! To say everything is cooked in garlic is not a lie. We were the healthiest ever during that time frame and I attribute it to all the garlic we ate! One of my favorite starts to dinners out was gazpacho. A cold, tomato soup. At first I was turned off by the cold factor....most 11 year old kids are not thrilled with the idea of cold soup. But like all good parents...mine made us try everything at least once, sometimes twice before we could justifiably say we hated it. It only took one try for this girl to get on board with gazpacho and I've been loving it ever since! Add some red wine sangria with fresh fruit and some condiments in the soup and you are good to go! The recipe at the end is authentic, straight from a local Spanish woman we knew. I hope you take a moment to try this...you won't be sorry....promise!!!


P.S..... as promised, some behind the scene images of my kitchen assistant =^^=


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Gazpacho Recipe:




  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded & chopped {use 1/2 in soup prep and save 1/2 for condiments}

  • cucumber, peeled and sliced

  • 1 hard boiled egg 

  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 1/2 cup olive oil

  • 2 slices bread

  • 6 tomatoes, peeled and quartered {personally, I don't peel them and it turns out just fine}

  • 1/2 tablespoon salt

  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper {add more if you like it spicy, like I do!}

  • 1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

  • 1/4 teaspoon olive oil


Directions:

Blend the red bell pepper, cucumber, garlic, and 1/2 cup olive oil, cayenne pepper and salt together in a blender until smooth. Soak your two slices of bread in water, wring out the water with your hands and add the slices to the blender one at a time and blend each into the mixture until smooth. Blend the tomatoes into the mixture one at a time until smooth.

Transfer the mixture to a bowl; season with salt and cayenne pepper. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and 1/4 teaspoon olive oil and add your condiments. I like to use chopped cucumber, red pepper, hard boiled egg and some home made croutons. It's up to you what you want to add...feel free to improvise and do what you like!

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