Dear lord it’s COLD. I know, it’s January, it’s supposed to be cold. But listen, last year, we had virtually no winter; one freak October snowstorm and we were done. That was followed up by the mildest, most beautiful spring and then the most blisteringly hot summer in recent memory. In short, it’s been a year-plus straight of some pretty obvious global warming, and I am just not ready for wind that makes your cold-induced tears freeze to your face.
On Saturday, I bought 30 bucks worth of fresh fruit to make strawberry gazpacho…and then ordered cold thai noodles instead. Sounds about right.
Thank goodness there was Sunday.
Because on Sunday…
…on a hundred-degree summer day. Just nothin’.
Adapted from Eleven Madison Park via Food 52.
This is not sweet!! Well, it’s a little sweet, but it’s also distinctly savory, so don’t hesitate to have it for lunch…and dinner. Other than toasting the bread, which is super quick, this requires no heat…..perfect for those days where turning on the oven is a sin. There are a lot of ellipses in this post.
1/2 T plus 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 1/2 c whole grain bread, crusts removed, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 sprigs thyme
6 c strawberries, hulled and quartered
2 1/4 c English cucumbers, peeled and diced
1 1/4 c diced red bell pepper
3/4 c diced green bell pepper
6 T tomato juice
3 T red wine vinegar
1 1/2 t salt
Tabasco sauce (optional)
- In a small pan over medium-high heat, heat 1 T olive oil and 1 garlic clove
- When the garlic starts to sizzle, add the bread cubes, stirring occasionally until they begin to brown
- Add the thyme and continue to toast until bread is golden on all sides. Remove from heat and add to large bowl. Discard the thyme
- Add the strawberries, cucumber, peppers, remaining garlic clove, remaining 1/2 c of olive oil, tomato juice, vinegar, and salt to the bowl; combine and cover tightly with plastic wrap
- Marinate at room temperature for 3 to 6 hours
- Puree the ingredients and their juices in small batches in a blender on high speed until very smooth
- Strain through a chinois (I dont have one of these) or a mesh sieve lined with cheese cloth. Here’s fair warning that a fine mesh sieve without cheese cloth will become instantaneously clogged with teeny, tiny strawberry seeds. Use the cheese cloth
- Chill until very cold. Season to taste with Tabasco sauce and/or additional salt or red wine vinegar
- Drizzle with good olive oil and enjoy
It seems I spoke too soon. Earlier this week our gorgeous, 70-degree weather gave way to several stereotypical, chilling March days. That’s okay though, I have no room to complain about our oddly warm winter and our strikingly warm spring. If March feels like being itself for a few days, it’ll just serve to remind us how lucky we’ve been to this point. And it will also give us an opportunity to revisit some slightly more warming food, before it’s really gone for the season.
This soup will make you sweat. Don’t get me wrong, it’s in the best possible way, but oof, if you’re not careful, those chipotles will getcha!
Ok, I’ll admit it, this soup is not pretty. It’s kind of a drab, wallpaper pasty tan, not quite orange, not quite brown, not quite…anything. Luckily, sometimes delicious things come in less-than-stellar packages.
Apparently I don’t eat carrots. I mean, I do, but based on the sheer weight of the carrots I was able to pull together from the nether regions of my fridge last week (2 lbs!), I don’t eat them nearly often enough. To me, carrots are an integral part of almost every soup or stew or roast, but during the warm food void that is summer, they go unnoticed by yours truly. This soup was my remedy to an infestation of carrots.