Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Slurp Your Veggies!

the beginnings of gazpacho
By now you have probably figured out that I eat lots of vegetables not because they are good for me but because I really like them. Consequently, I go a little nuts in summer when local veggies pop up everywhere: supermarkets, farm stands, farmer's markets, friends' backyards.

My refrigerator is a bit of an embarrassment in summer, because it's chockablock full of washed vegetables, wrapped in dishtowels and placed inside plastic bags. Open the fridge and you are confronted by many anonymous white parcels. The whole thing looks a bit like the stoarge facility of some demented forensic pathologist.

Luckily, most of the mysterious packages can quickly be reduced to one large bowl of gazpacho.  Gazpacho is one of the three cold soups that I eat regularly in summer. The first time I made it, I followed the recipe in my 1963 McCalls cookbook. It was easy to make and delicious. Nowadays, I am more likely to make the Boston Globe recipe, which includes both corn and avocados. I can eat that for almost any meal, including breakfast, because it's not quite as tangy as many other gazpachos. It has an incredibly fresh taste and is almost addictive.

The other two soups that I eat in summer are Bulgarian cucumber soup and borscht. If a heat wave is forecast, I will usually have one of these chilling in the fridge. The cucumber soup is from an old Joy of Cooking. I serve borscht the way my parents did, with a hot boiled potato in the middle and a dollop of sour cream on top. I love yogurt, but it just isn't the same! (Summer borscht I buy in bottles; winter borscht—which often contains cabbage and beef—I make myself.)

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