I’m a big fan of challenges!! The previous challenge that I shared was not picked by me, and not exactly super-fun.
This new one was also not picked by me, but is (so far at least) completely fun! Back story: I have an amazing friend who lives in Europe. We met when I lived abroad for a year and we have been great friends ever since. We flew in for each other’s weddings. We meet up whenever we are on the same continent. And we like to send each other Christmas packages, but are equally terrible at doing that before the actual holiday! And it’s ok. Mine might be a little Easter-y this year…
So this friend sent me this cooking challenge.
Given my family’s lifestyle, making one totally knew recipe every day isn’t so doable. So I’m averaging 1 a week. Saturdays are a good day for me to truly focus on something challenging while husband entertains the kids.
So each challenge has a little square card that I tear off the roll of recipes inside the dispenser box. It has my shopping list on the back. The actual recipe is online (I printed them all off).
So far, I am loving being pushed beyond my comfort zone in the kitchen. My first challenge was something I have never eaten or made before: gazpacho.
Gazpacho had just never appealed to me. Cold soup? I liked my soup hot. Why mess with a good thing, right? But the challenge had been set and I had accepted it. So I was making gazpacho. I took my list to the grocery store. Here I found the first learning opportunity. All of the ingredients are listed in grams/ounces, European style. My fellow Americans, can you eyeball what a kilo of tomatoes looks like? Or what 0,7oz of cucumbers might be? Thank goodness for my 4 years of German in high school! I remembered that Germans use commas where we use periods in numbers. So 0,7oz is 0.7oz. That is not very much cucumber. I understand that weights are far more accurate in cooking. I have a kitchen scale and I use it pretty regularly. I am not accustomed to weighing my produce at the grocery store. But Europeans are. The last time I was in Germany I remember having to weigh and tag my produce and my bread.
Ingredients – serves 4-6
- 35 oz ripe tomatoes
- 2 oz green bell pepper
- 1 oz cucumber
- 3.5 oz onion
- 2 oz bread
- 1 garlic clove
- 3 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- Mint for garnish
- Dice and core the tomatoes. Cut the rest of the vegetables into manageable pieces for your blender. Put everything except the mint in the blender and blend until smooth.
- Chill for at least a couple of hours. (Blending for this long can heat the soup).
- Garnish with mint and extra hunks of bread if you like.
This is excellent served with some grilled cheese sandwiches. I am looking forward to making this again in the summer with some fresh garden/farmers market produce!