Once again, this is a departure for us. Growing up Chinese, cold soups are pretty much out on left field for us. But, we had a bunch of tomatoes just getting way too ripe on the counter and I didn't feel like making tomato sauce.
So, I thought of gazpacho as a way to use up not-so-supple tomatoes.
I've made gazpacho before (not for our own use/pleasure), but I didn't use bread. I decided to try to be more authentic. So, I set to soaking some bread. I wrung out the bread after its soak. It was quite spongy and squishy. Lots of fun, teehee.
Tomato prep: Just a note, it is highly unusual for us to peel and seed tomatoes! It's one of those tasks that we place in our invented category of "martyr-ization." But, here I am, being a martyr.
This, My Quest to Follow the Star of authenticity, was an Impossible Dream, as we didn't have cucumbers in the house! (gasp)
(Like how I tied in this gazpacho with something sort of Spanish-y? Teehee.)
I was too lazy to go out and buy cucumbers. So, in terms of vegetables, this version of gazpacho had tomatoes, red bell peppers, green onions and garlic. Red wine vinegar, olive oil and water also went in.
I used to dice the ingredients by hand, but this time, to make up for my tomato martyr-ization, I used the food processor. We let the gazpacho sit in the refrigerator overnight.
The next day, after some seasoning adjustments, our gazpacho was served.
Our father didn't even want to try it! I told you, this cold soup business is tough. ;)
Our mother, at least, tried the gazpacho, and she is the one who is usually averse to trying "weird" and "unusual" food. I guess her love of the tomato won out when she was told that gazpacho was mostly tomatoes.
The first time I tried gazpacho years, years ago, in a restaurant, the first sip of the soup, I instinctly recoiled. I think I commented something to the effect, "Yuck." A few more spoonfuls later, it kind of grew on me and went beyond yuck, but I recall saying I would have preferred the soup heated up. LOL.
I liked this gazpacho, but I would have preferred it chunkier, where I can eat the vegetables instead of drinking them. Gazpacho in general is one dish I do not at all crave. Perhaps we can try roasting the vegetables before making it into gazpacho next time. It will probably be a long time coming, since there are so many other things we want to make first.
It was really good, though. Very intensely flavorful. I too would've liked the gazpacho to be chunkier. I guess I should've diced the ingredients by hand. It would've gone great with some bread (which we didn't have at the time). Or actually, with some garlic bread. Oooh.
(CSC mentioned she felt like having some tortilla chips and using the gazpacho as a dip. Haha.)
When I heard of the restriction of not using any heat, gazpacho was the prototypical non-heat-using dish I thought of.
So, we're submitting this to Beat the Heat, created and hosted by A Southern Grace.
(I must say, though, "Beat the Heat" seemed like a cruel joke as it was raining here for the past 2 weeks, with temperatures as low as 10 degrees or some such thing.)