If you blink in the Pacific Northwest summer could be over that quickly. Meanwhile, in the deserts of Arizona it lasts long into October. As a child in Arizona, we began school a couple weeks prior to Labor Day. So, when my Washington raised husband referred to Labor Day as the official unofficial end of summer...let's just say it was news to me.
Today V began her first day of first grade. She arose out of bed at 6:00am to reassure me that, "daddy said it was okay to get up since it was my first day of school," as she helped concoct her own "syrup" for the dutch pancakes.
Not only was this sweet face greeting me as I walked down the stairs; but, that old friend falling from the sky, aka rain sang me a sweet song.
Although it's rain today, it is just as likely to be heat and sun tomorrow. And by the looks of Joe's garden, tomatoes, onions, and peppers are still abundant. I don't know what's greeting you in your neck of the woods, but give this slightly spicy, creamy sans cream gazpacho that makes my belly full without any meat accompanying it a try.
Creamy Gazpacho (printable recipe)
This recipe is slightly adapted from Cooks Illustrated. The original calls for using a slice of white bread and different heat. This really serves as a wonderful meal on it's own.
3 pounds tomatoes, cored
1 green bell pepper, halved, cored and seeded
1 cucumber, peeled, halved and seeded
1 small red onion, peeled and halved
1 jalapeno pepper, stemmed and halved lengthwise
3 cloves garlic, peeled and quartered
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for serving
fresh ground pepper
2 Tb sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
2 Tb finely minced chives
Roughly chop 2 pounds of tomatoes, half of cucumber, half of bell pepper, and half of onion and place in a large bowl. Add garlic, jalapeno and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt; toss until well combined. Set aside.
Cut remaining tomatoes, cucumber, and bell pepper into 1/4 inch dice; place vegetables in medium bowl. Mince remaining onion and add it to the diced vegetables. Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt and toss to combine. Place a strainer above a medium bowl and add the diced vegetables to drain. Set aside for 1 hour.
Transfer drained vegetables that have been straining for an hour to a medium bowl. Take the reserved liquid, which drained from the diced veggies and add it to the coarsely chopped vegetables.
In two batches, you'll take half of the coarsely chopped vegetables and put them in a blender and blend for 30 seconds. After which with the blender running, slowly drizzle 1/4 cup olive oil to it. Blend for 2 minutes. Strain the soup through a strainer/sieve placed over a bowl by using the back of a ladle or spatula to press the soup through. Repeat with the remainder of the coarsely chopped vegetables and 1/4 cup olive oil.
Stir in vinegar and half of the diced vegetables into the strained soup. Cover and refrigerate for 2-8 hours, allowing the flavors to develop. Serve by topping with remaining diced vegetables, olive oil, sherry vinegar and minced chives.