Summer Lunch at Touch of Button!
I absolutely love salads and generally have a salad along with my lunch - and supper - every day throughout the year. Summertime is, of course, the best time of year to enjoy salads as the abundance and variety of vegetables increases each week at farmers’ markets across the Berkshires.
Despite the ease and versatility of salads, sometimes I’d rather opt for an even quicker meal on a hot summer’s day. That’s when I plan a lunch that’s as easy to make as pushing a button - Gazpacho Soup! This refreshing Spanish soup originated in the southern region of Andalusia. Gazpacho is easy to pack for a picnic lunch and is loaded with the delicious flavor of fresh vegetables.
3 medium tomatoes, peeled (your choice whether to keep the seeds or remove them)
1 large cucumber, peeled – scoop out any large seeds
1 small onion, chopped
2 small cloves of garlic, finely minced
1 red or green bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
1 cup spinach, arugula or watercress (optional)
1 slice of stale bread with crusts removed, soaked in a little water
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup red wine vinegar
Additional finely chopped tomatoes, cucumber and bell pepper for garnish
Place all the vegetables into a blender and pulse until well-blended but not too finely puréed. You want to leave some texture to the soup.
Squeeze out the bread then add it to the blender and briefly pulse.
Add in the olive oil and vinegar, and a little salt and pepper to taste. Pulse again.
Pour the soup into a covered contained and let chill in the fridge.
When ready to eat, you can serve the soup in a bowl or in a mug, garnished if you prefer with some additional chopped vegetables.
If you grow your own herbs, you might like to sprinkle some fresh chives, chervil or even mint on top for a surprising touch!