the saturday soup – green gazpacho & a quiet kitchen May 27, 2011

On the first real day after BlogHer Food and then the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival, I padded around my house and I heard something I hadn’t heard in a long time: silence. Some creaky boards underneath Grizelda & I’s feet were the only noises that day. I pulled out all the green stuff I had left in the fridge and chopped it up and whizzed it together. Cut the crusts off some almost-stale bread at the house and made some quick croutons. I went outside to throw the unwanted edges out into the yard for the birds so Grizelda would have something to look at out the window. She glared through the glass at the robins making off with the bread while I smiled at the tomatoes that are finally growing out on the back deck.

It’s hard to put into words that post food blog conference feeling. Where you’ve met so many people…the ones you feel like you already know because of your online life. Seeing those that have firmly cemented themselves as some of my nearest and dearest. I spoke about photos and food styling with two of the most talented ladies I’ve ever met. Dined at my favorite restaurant in town with friends old and new. You don’t want it to end because those people & that energy fuel you…and at the same token…your mind and your body can’t possibly keep up the pace of your spirit those days. That day of rest…and quiet…was so needed to be able to breathe and look back and appreciate how much awesomeness I was surrounded with. How much blessing I’m surrounded with every day – quiet or not.

So we sat in the window that afternoon – me eating gazpacho and Grizelda thinking about her lunch just beyond the glass – in silence.  In those quiet times that day, I thought about everyone that had touched me that weekend – and in the notes and tweets the days following. You’re too bountiful to name but know that the connection with everyone there – and the ability to share and learn from some truly remarkable people – is worth broken elevators & tepid pseudo Southern lunches. You all stay with me and move me towards being open and being better – at everything.

Green Gazpacho with Spicy Croutons – serves 4 to 6 as a soup course or light entree

  • 1 large cucumber – peeled, de-seeded and roughly chopped
  • 4 large tomatillos – papery skins removed and roughly chopped
  • 1 large yellow bell pepper – de-seeded and roughly chopped
  • 1 small yellow onion – roughly diced
  • 2 cups watercress – tough stems removed and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 1/2 cups water – you can adjust this so the soup is desired thickness
  • 1 tbsp. kosher salt + more salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4 slices day-old sourdough bread
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika

For the soup: In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the chopped vegetables, greenery and herbs and sprinkle with the tbsp. of kosher salt. stir to distribute the salt amongst the veggies. Cover tightly, refrigerate and allow it all to mingle for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Remove from fridge and pour all of the chopped vegetable mixture – including any juices that have accumulated in the bowl – into a large capacity food processor or high powered blender. Whiz until it starts to break up. Pour water into the food processor/blender gradually until at desired consistency – you may need more/less than two cups of water. Taste again and season with salt and pepper. This soup will last 3-4 days in a tightly sealed container. I recommend letting it chill down and percolate together for 3-4 hours up to overnight before serving – the flavors really meld together.

- For the croutons: Preheat oven to 375. Remove the crust from the sourdough slices. Cut the remaining bread into 1/2 inch cubes. Toss with olive oil and the teaspoon sprinkle of smoked paprika. Scatter evenly on a baking sheet and bake until toasty and lightly brown – 4 to 5 minutes depending on your oven.

Comments

Averie (LoveVeggiesandYoga) May 28, 2011 12:05 am

The soup looks perfect for hot summer days. And I love that it’s a great way to get in all kinds of wonderful veggies…tomatillos and cucumbers and watercress..delish!

Karin May 28, 2011 04:05 am

I love those colours and I bet it tasted delicious. And I soooo wished I could have been there with all of you. It sounds like the most wonderful experience..

MikeVFMK May 28, 2011 07:05 am

Nothing beats a quiet day at home with your thoughts and equally quiet company. And this soup looks fantastic with all those great flavours!

merry jennifer May 28, 2011 10:05 am

Such a beautiful post. The image of you and Grizelda at the window is so vivid in my mind. Wish I could be there with you both – I’d bring wine, and maybe a kitty treat.

Chris May 28, 2011 11:05 am

I love that I can see, in my mind, exactly where you were. So peaceful! Love this soup…a huge fan of tomatillos . :)

Barbara | Creative Culinary May 28, 2011 12:05 pm

What a lovely dish. For so long gazpacho was red and I was in a rut…now I love finding new combinations of veggies and this looks perfect!

Julia May 28, 2011 06:05 pm

As Gazpacho (a red one) was the first dish I made in my first own flat after I had left university, it will always be a special dish to me. Thanks for this new facette. I’ll try it out soon :)

Lana May 28, 2011 11:05 pm

I have never made gazpacho, but love all the ingredients, in the red one, as well as the green one. With summer approaching, I I going to try making it.
Just last night, when my husband was having a drink with friends after work, and my girls were at the movies, I heard that same sound of silence, the elusive, and very rare guest in my house:)
I enjoyed your session at BlogHer Food immensely. All three of you have inspired me to push myself further and get better in photography (I can manipulate the verbs, and adjectives, and adverbs, but manipulating light comes with many obstacles:)

Irvin May 29, 2011 02:05 pm

Spending time with you was one of the highlights of the conference. Of course, I wish it had gone on longer and we had spent more time together, but that’s the nature of weekend conferences right? Too little time, too much to do. Thank you for your inspiring session and showing me true Southern hospitality by organizing what ended up being the best meal of my trip to Atlanta. Love you.

Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table May 29, 2011 03:05 pm

I was so excited about this I bought all the ingredients at the farmers market today and just made it – it’s delicious! I can’t wait to see what it tastes like after it sits overnight.

Snippets of Thyme May 29, 2011 04:05 pm

These conferences sound so incredible. I am just becoming aware of them and yearning to go! Sounds like it was a fabulous experience for you. I love your quiet day with the gazpacho. Those days are the best…

[...] Running with Tweezers – The Saturday Soup Green Gazpacho [...]

Winnie Jun 7, 2011 12:06 pm

I LOVE this. And with spicy croutons…yum.

Natalie Thiele Jun 22, 2011 09:06 pm

This looks fabulous! I am insane about all kinds of gazpacho and make bucketsful of it all summer long. Your recipe is a new one on me. I bought a bunch of tomatillos today and can hardly wait to get started. Thank you.

Heidi / foodiecrush Jul 29, 2011 11:07 pm

Lovely, bright and my husband is a cucumber-a-holic. Perfect for all of my tomatoes that may never turn red this summer.

Edward Dec 28, 2012 08:12 pm

I am playing catch up just now Joan. Thank you for meonntiing me :)Thanks Jenn :)Hi Johanna, My spoons are all quite scuffed actually. I think I can put that down to the dishwasher, but I do like the design on this spoon, it has a lovely handle.Hi Duo Dishes, I just can’t resist when berries start appearing in the shops. I do miss them in the winter.I hope you enjoy it Vanessa :)I will await your entry then A & N, with interest :)I was quite pleased with it Juliana and Graham loves it. He wasn’t sure at first until I bowled some up for him with the cinnamon, yoghurt and honey. He went back for seconds :)Thanks Poornima :)It was when I made it Sylvie, but I look out the window now at the pouring rain, that has lasted 3 days so far and I am more inclined towards a hot soup.Thanks Alex :)The pears are so delicious just now Diann, that I couldn’t resist adding one.