Gazpacho gazpachito! Making it wasn’t in the plans but the sunny warm weather in Dublin really called for it. This wasn’t the main reason I decided to cook it last night, though.
This week was a bit of a tough. Nothing major, just a little homesickness kicking in. I rarely have these moments where I’m craving some nest love, but they do come around from time to time. My guess is that, after a weekend of fun, food, bliss, laughs and lots of card games with Pauli & Jorge, going back to the every-day routine was like falling off a cloud and landing without a parachute.
The key thing to manage low times, I’ve found, is to not take them too seriously and always remember that they come and go – good, bad, happy, sad, even meh times, are temporal. Nothing is forever and so we should remind ourselves to not stress too much about the negative and, at the same time, not take the positive for granted.
The original plan on Wednesday was to head home after work, cook whatever and watch anything. But then it hit me: ‘If the mountain will not come to Muhammad, then Muhammad must go to the mountain’. If I can’t be home, I will bring home to me. That was my new mission for the night. The result: 2 large batches of fresh gazpacho in the fridge, 1 long phone call with Claudia, another call with my parents and, for dessert, an episode of Friends while I savoured Summer and home in my mouth.
The recipe below is the one we have been using back home for years. For a long time, if I wanted to make gazpacho I would message my mom. This probably happened several times over the past 2 years. This is actually one of the reasons I decided to start this food blog: to have all my favourite recipes in one place and stop annoying my family every few weeks/months asking for the same old recipe.
I adjusted the amounts a little bit because I wanted to make it quite soft in taste (fewer peppers, onion, garlic and less vinegar). The most important part of a successful gazpacho is the produce: ripe tomatoes, fresh vegetables, a good extra virgin olive oil and (optional) old hard-as-rock bread. The produce I found didn’t blow my mind but in desperate times, desperate measures – it was good enough to give me the comfort of home.
The best tip I can give, which my mom always points out, is to blend the gazpacho a second time through a Chinese colander. This makes it extra smooth and ensures the little bits of tomato skin and seeds don’t get in the way of enjoying this magical Summer soup.
The learning? Missing home sucks but we can do something about it. Preparing food that reminds me and makes me feel like I am in Barcelona helps. Calling people I miss helps. It is possible that neither of these strategies work for you. Perhaps what you need is to go out for a glass of wine and be social; be here, not there. Maybe next time making food and calling people won’t work for me, so I will have to make the effort of listening to myself and figure out what will bring me back up again. It is the exercise of asking yourself questions and being determined to help yourself that really matters.
For now, though, I know I have a whole week of delicious healthy summery gazpacho ahead of me. And it’s awesome!
If you try this recipe or have questions, please let me know!
This recipe is the classical gazpacho that we've always made and enjoyed back home. It can be made fairly quickly and will last for a week in your fridge! You will need a hand-blender or smoothie blender. Extra tip: use a Chinese or fine colander to finish and get the smoothest gazpacho.
- 18 ripe vine tomatoes about 1.8kg
- 1/2 red pepper
- 1/2 green pepper
- 1/2 cucumber
- 1/2 white onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 pinch salt
- 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- water to adjust texture, not always needed
- 1 piece old bread the harder and drier, the better
- croutons, fried on a pan
- onion, red or green pepper finely chopped
- spring onions
- boiled egg chopped, sprinkled
Rinse and dry all vegetables. Chop the tomatoes, peppers, cucumber (peeled), onions and garlic, add to a large pot.
Using a hand blender, blend all vegetables until you get a creamy soup.
Put the bread in a bowl of water until it becomes soft and spongy. Squeeze and add to the pot, together with the olive oil, salt and vinegar. Blend
Taste for flavour and texture and adjust with more salt or water if needed.
Take a Chinese colander, place a clean large pot beneath it, and pour the gazpacho in batches. Blend the gazpacho so it pours through the colander and into the clean pot as smoothly as possible. Once there s only tomato skin and seeds left, use a spatula or wooden spoon to press hard and squeeze the last bits of gazpacho.
Store in the fridge for a few hours before consuming. You can enjoy it as a drink or in a bowl as a soup, with crunchy croutons or chopped spring onions.