Fare With Flair: Changing up Gazpacho

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As we head into the last leg of summer, market stands are overflowing with local produce.

I get particularly excited when tomatoes and sweet peppers come into season. I just can’t walk by a stand without buying something.

That, however, often leads to a surplus in my kitchen and the need to get creative as to what to do with all the vegetables that have accumulated.

One solution is to make the delicious cold Spanish dish called gazpacho.

This soup is typically made with tomatoes, peppers, sweet onion, cucumber, paprika and garlic. It’s remarkably refreshing and nutritious.

It’s easy to put another spin on this cold soup by switching up some of the seasonings.

For example, with the addition of Asian ingredients, such as fish sauce, ginger, sesame oil and cilantro, the soup turns into something equally refreshing, but very different.

Whatever direction you go with your seasoning, keep a pitcher of this delicious soup in the fridge for a quick and easy meal when you are on the go, or have time to enjoy it as a starter for dinner.



— — —

Asian Gazpacho

(Serves 6-8)

4 cups (1 L) of seeded and diced plum tomatoes or one 28 -z. (798-ml) can plum tomatoes

1 small English cucumber, coarsely chopped (skin left on)

1 small red bell pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped

2 green onions chopped

juice of 2 limes

1 tbsp. (15 ml) minced ginger

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tbsp. (15 m) fish sauce or soy sauce

2 tsp. (10 ml) Sriracha hot sauce (or chili paste)

2 tsp. (10 ml) sesame oil

1 cup (250 ml) chopped cilantro

salt to taste

sesame seeds for garnish

additional sesame oil for garnish

Place all ingredients except salt and sesame seeds in blender. Pulse until all ingredients combined. (If mixture is too thick, add some water or tomato juice).

Season with salt to taste if needed. Chill until ready to serve.

Ladle into chilled bowls. Drizzle with additional sesame oil and garnish with sesame seeds.

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