In this third (and long-awaited) installment of my “Keeping Ms. HalfEmpty Full” series, I present you with an easy recipe for gazpacho inspired by a lovely woman from Valladolid, Spain. I met Señora ‘Spacho during our 30/40 World Tour back in 2011 at VaughanTown.

Mr. HalfFull & Señora 'Spacho shopping for fruit in El Barco de Ávila

Mr. HalfFull & Señora ‘Spacho shopping for fruit in El Barco de Ávila

Señora ‘Spacho was extremely passionate about gazpacho, urging me to delve into the history of this Andalusian liquid salad. She explained how Spaniards have been eating variations of bread and olive oil soup for centuries before tomatoes were introduced to Spain! She raved about a deliciously creamy gazpacho recipe (without bread) she makes for her family to enjoy daily all summer long.

Señora 'Spacho and Ms. HalfEmpty during a One-on-One Session @ VaughanTown.  Como se dice "teach my husband how to make this delicious soup?"

Señora ‘Spacho and Ms. HalfEmpty during a One-on-One Session @ VaughanTown. Como se dice, “Teach my husband how to make this delicious soup?”

I made time to sit down and capture her personal recipe. Let me preface this recipe by saying that she strongly urged me to use both Spanish EVOO and Spanish cucumbers whenever possible!

Señora ‘Spacho also stressed that easily making gazpacho requires an extremely expensive Thermomix blender because it’s so powerful that you don’t have to sieve out any vegetable skin or seeds. Sadly, I didn’t even attempt to make her recipe until we bought an expensive (yet more reasonably pricedVitamix blender three years later. We hemmed and hawed about the price of this appliance before finally buying it, but it’s a game changer!

Ms. HalfEmpty loves my version of Señora ‘Spacho’s gazpacho. She even tried to make it herself once…

Half Full Mug

 

Gazpacho

From the kitchen café of Mr. HalfFull via Señora ‘Spacho

Ingredients:

Gazpacho Ingredients

Gazpacho Ingredients

  • 1 big cucumber (preferably Spanish, peeled)
  • 2 big red bell peppers (cut out stems, seeds, and white bits)
  • 2 medium tomatoes (cut out stems)
  • 2 thick slices of a sweet onion (peeled)
  • 1 tiny clove of garlic (peeled) — sometimes I just use garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil preferably Spanish; instead of measuring, I pour about 2 swirls over the veggies in the blender
  • light sprinkle of fresh ground black pepper
  • a few dashes of sea salt to taste
  • red wine vinegar to taste

Directions:

  • (Optional) Set aside a bit of cucumber and red bell pepper; chop finely to use as a garnish and add a hint of red wine vinegar.
  • Place all other ingredients except the vinegar into a high-power blender.
  • Blend briefly to liquefy. You will need to use a tamper to push down the vegetables.
  • Add red wine vinegar to taste. (You can always add more, but you can’t get it out once it’s in the ‘spacho!)
  • Once it tastes amazing, continue blending until all seeds and vegetable skin seem to be eviscerated.
  • Allow the mixture to settle before transferring to another container.
  • Chill gazpacho in the refrigerator. (“Unless you like hot ‘spacho!”)
Gazpacho

Gazpacho is served! Add a nice touch by sprinkling finely chopped cucumber and red bell pepper on top before serving.

Serving Suggestions:

All of the gazpacho we enjoyed in Spain was served in bowls, with a spoon. At home we’ve been enjoying gazpacho without a spoon, out of martini or rocks glasses. Sometimes I will even serve gazpacho in Mexican shot glasses as an amuse-bouche!

I often add a nice touch by sprinkling the top with my finely chopped cucumber and red bell pepper garnish. For those who love José Andrés as much as I do, check out his gazpacho garnish.

Mr. HalfFull is a 40-something extroverted optimist who spends his days teaching and coaching teenagers. He occasionally authors posts on his wife’s blog halfempty4now.com in support of his life’s work to help her see life from his sunny point of view.