As summer wears on and I try to figure out how to beat the heat in my hundred year-old house with no AC, my motivation slows, mostly what I want to do is a lot of nothing; however, my hyper-active self struggles with sloth. To satisfy my desire to laze around and my extroverted personality I throw a party. I love last minute gatherings with friends and neighbors where everyone brings something cold to drink and the host provides nice summer snacks like chilled gazpacho soup, fresh fruit, yakitori chicken kabobs and a salad made from garden greens. Easy light entertainment is the best. I love passing a summer evening sitting in the shade with a cold cocktail, good friends and kids running amuck through my house.
Summer Gazpacho I learned from my many trips to Spain to visit my family. (time: 15 minutes, plus chill time)
1lb ripe tomatoes
1/2 sweet red pepper, peeled
1/2 cucumber, seeds removed and peeled
1/3 of a small onion or one shallot
1 small clove of garlic
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon of sherry vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
In a blender or food processor blend fresh tomatoes, red pepper, cucumber, onion and clove of garlic. While pureeing drizzle olive oil into the blender then add vinegar. (Sherry vinegar can be strong so go light and put extra on the table for those who like more to add later) Because this soup isn't cooked go easy on the onion and garlic, in their raw state they are strong. Pour puree through a strainer to make smooth, and chill. Serve cold with diced cucumber, red pepper, onion for garnish and extra vinegar and oil to add to taste. Crusty bread, a bowl of this soup and a glass of cold white wine and summer is ready.