Gazpacho Two Ways

Veggies for GazpachoMy summertime kitchen makes me feel like I am living the most luxurious life.  I can bring in an armload of flowers for the table from my garden. The produce is plentiful, the fish the freshest imaginable. Local farmers sell their chicken, ducks, lamb and pork at the market. But there is another luxurious ingredient ..a little extra time. Today started out a little hectic..making airline reservations, watering the new plants, solving a few home front  crises long distance, but there was the crystal light and temperature of the beach and breezes to beckon another rhythm. We walked and just sat on the beach for a perfect late afternoon sojourn.  By the time I returned to the kitchen I had in mind to make some gazpacho to use up all these veggies in my fridge before leaving the island for a week. 

And that's where the luxury of time comes in. Why not make two different ones? I am always of two minds about which style is best. The ingredients are almost the same, but one produces a velvety Thai flavored soup and the other, a crunchy  textured red  bowl  with a decidedly more Italian flavor -really just a liquid salad. Beside the difference in texture, I love playing with what I call different families of flavor. For instance one has lime to punch up the flavor and one has red wine vinegar. The herbs are drawn from different cuisines as well: lemon grass, basil and cilantro in one and basil, oregano and thyme in the other.  Needless to say, we will enjoy gazpacho for a day or two to  come and leave a little surprise treat for our neighbor as well. 

 Here are your recipes for Thai Flavored Gazpacho and Crunchy Traditional Gazpacho


Thai Flavored Gazpacho

Thai flavored Gazpacho                                                      

2 celery stalks

I 1/2 whole medium tomato 

I medium cucumber, peeled and seeded

I /3 large red or green bell pepper 

2 garlic cloves,

Three scallions or 1/4 cup chopped yellow onion

1/2 to 1 tsp. minced jalapeño

1/2 can Thai coconut milk

Juice of 1 1/2 limes or to taste

1 TB each minced fresh cilantro, mint, lemongrass and basil

Salt to taste

Basil

2 ice cubes

Salt and pepper to taste

 Place all the ingredients in a blender or a Vitamix and process until throughly blended. Serve chilled.

 Makes 6 cups of soup.

 

 Crunchy Traditional Gazpacho

                                                                                                    Gazpacho 

2 celery stalks, cut into small dice

I 1/2 whole medium tomatoes, cut into small dice

1 medium cucumber peeled and seeded,cut into small dice

2/3 large red or green bell pepper, cut into small dice

2 garlic cloves, minced

3 scallions  sliced or 1/4 cup yellow onion cut into small dice

1 inch piece of jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely minced

2 TB fresh basil, chopped 

1 1/2 tsp. fresh thyme, chopped 

1 1/2 tsp fresh oregano, chopped

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1/3 cup olive oil

32 oz of of your favorite bottled tomato or vegetable juice

Salt and pepper to taste

Chop all the vegetables and place in large glass or ceramic serving bowl. Pour in your liquid ingredients and mix with a spoon. Chill at least one hour and serve. If desired pass chilled cooked shrimp,crab, or lobster meat as a garnish or to create main course.  Serves 6-8. 

 One more thing: try adding cooked shrimp, crab meat, lobster or garbanzos to the traditional tomato soup to turn it into a refreshing main course for lunch or dinner.  

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