Saturday, January 31, 2009

Climate change in action?


Madrid is having a pretty brutal winter. While most years it rarely dips below 0ºC, this year has seen quite a bit of snow. Madrileños are still talking about their brush with death a few weeks ago when a full 10cm accumulated, more snow than they have seen in 40 years. Hundreds of flights were cancelled, only the children ventured outside, the city was paralyzed - it was hilarious. It also made me realize that I actually miss snow. How great of a Canadian am I?

Well... not such a great Canadian that I don't appreciate this last week of 15ºC and sunny (Madrid has apparently recovered from its cold spell). Hence the recipe. This cold summer soup is what I made yesterday after I went running in the sunny Parque del Buen Retiro in shorts and a t-shirt. Kisses!

Gazpacho
NB: Spaniards insist this is not a soup. The best description I have heard is "Andalusian liquid salad." Serve in a bowl or drinking glass.

2 slices stale white bread, crusts removed (75 g)
4 large ripe tomatoes (1 kg)
1 green bell pepper
1/2 cucumber
1/2 onion
2 cloves garlic
4 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp salt
5 tbsp white wine vinegar
some water or ice cubes
garnish: toast cut into cubes, chopped hard boiled eggs, and any of the vegetables mentioned above that you want, chopped.

Soak the bread in water (mmmmm soggy bread). In a cuisinart, combine the tomatoes, seeded peppers, cucumber, onion, and garlic. [Purists insist you need to run it through a sieve to get rid of skins, seeds, and other undesirables. Whatever.] Squeeze the water from the deliciously soggy bread and add to the mix. Add some oil, salt, and vinegar to taste. Add water to taste, or ice cubes if you want to serve immediately.