Gazpacho & Doctors Don’t Lie

I promised myself I wouldn’t write another blog about tomatoes. But, as I stood over a full basket of fresh tomatoes, and crammed the little guys into my mouth I wondered what to do with this beautiful bounty? The answer came flying at me in big bold letters, wearing a hat rimmed in pom-poms; GAZPACHO!

Ahhhh what a perfect dish to make with the end of the summer tomatoes. And a soothing project to do with my anxious hands, and  with Rick, who is only comfortable when he’s moving. Without further ado let’s take a trip to Andalusia.

Get this: The origins of its name remains a mystery after thousands of years. Some say the name originated from the word Caspa, which is Latin for ‘pieces of’, referring to the parts of bread that they blend in the famous soup. Amigo Foods

Dang it, I wished I’d read that before I made it, because I love any recipe that calls for little caspas of torn bread 🙂 And Alton Brown’s recipe didn’t call for it. Next time..

Alton Brown’s Gazpacho Ingredients

Serves: 4 adults

Prep time: 45 min

Chill time: at least 2 hrs. or overnight

  • 1 ½ pounds vine-ripened tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • Tomato juice
  • 1 cup cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • ½ cup chopped red bell pepper
  • ½ cup chopped red onion
  • 1 small jalapeno, seeded and minced
  • 1 medium garlic clove, minced
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 2 tsp. Balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ toasted, ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. Kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tbsp. fresh basil leaves, chiffonade

Gazpacho Directions

  1. Fill a six-quart pot halfway full of water, set over high heat and bring to boil.
  2. Make an X with a paring knife on the bottom of the tomatoes.
  3. Drop the tomatoes into the boiling water for 15 seconds (we did this five at a time).
  4. Remove and transfer to an ice bath and allow to cool until able to handle. Pat dry.
  5. Peel, core and seed the tomatoes. When seeding the tomatoes, place the seeds and pulp into a fine mesh strainer set over a bowl in order to catch the juice. Press as much of the juice through as possible and then add enough bottled tomato juice to bring the total to 1 cup.
  6. Place the tomatoes and juice into a large mixing bowl. Add the cucumber, bell pepper, red onion, jalapeno, garlic clove, olive oil, lime juice, balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire, cumin, salt and pepper and stir to combine.
  7. Transfer 1 ½ cups of mixture into the blender and puree for 15-20 seconds on high speed.
  8. Return the pureed mixture to the bowl and stir to combine.
  9. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours and up to overnight.
  10. Serve with chiffonade of basil.
“Roasting your spices takes your dish into a whole other place!”

I served this outrageously delicious summer chilled soup with thick hunks of sourdough artisan bread, and a side of green salad with orange slices, cranberries, and walnuts. I have to admit with the Flamenco music playing in the background (a must) and all that color I was transported….

We doubled the recipe,

in order to have enough to run over to our good friend who was diagnosed with Covid-19. I thought the gazpacho with it’s 26.mg of vitamin C, (www.fatsecret.com) and the chilled jar sitting on a bed of ice, would give her fevered self, a little relief. You talk about scary, just hearing the word sent me into mild panic. She had been by the week before, fortuitously we sat outside. But what kept me awake was the fact we weren’t wearing our masks. I swear to gawd, I drank a gallon and half of water after getting her call, and we took zinc every three hours for the first two days. (I read yesterday, science hasn’t proven any benefit taking zinc) But, for those unnerving days, I felt like it did.

Doctors don’t lie!

Rick had his last radiation treatment on Monday.

Both the doctor and the technician told him the side-effects would worsen by 20%. When he told me this I was a bit miffed. I mean, why would they put this thought in his head. It’s bad enough as it is without worrying. By that evening he was miserable. He was watching the clock waiting for the five hour mark between taking the Ibuprofen (which works btw) It wears off  after around 4 hours. I was thankful his doctor told him, otherwise I would’ve been calling. The hormone therapy and the radiation are at their accumulated peak for the next week to ten days. Apparently, it will slowly dissipate from his body. So, in other words he’s come to the finish line. Chapter closed. Yay!!

When we found out Rick was going to need two months of treatment, a little package arrived in the mail. Inside was a beautifully wrapped stack of envelopes tied with a ribbon and a darling hand painted note telling Rick to open a card before he went for each treatment. There were 12. I’m in tears right now as I write this. You have no idea how much those cards meant to him. Every morning for those 4 weeks, remember he ended up getting double dosed for ½ the time we initially thought; he stretched opening these precious little gifts with a huge message every few days. In the morning he’d drag himself into the kitchen and then remember he had a card to open, his face would light up! Those cards, actually I’m trying to put in words what they meant to him…Love, pure love and support.

So, if you have a beloved family member, a dear friend or someone going through a tough time, journey or rough patch here’s the link; www.3rdrailpower.com, where Joe Zaniker the artist, and Gregg Coffin the writer, will create for you a customized, heartfelt gift. Thanks guys!!

It’s supposed to be one hundred degrees tomorrow here in smoky California. Praying for our firefighters; true heroes of our time.

Ciao for now 🙂

  1. My first cooked meal I made for Karen when we dated was Gazpacho. I took her to Foothills park and set up a table cloth on a grassy knoll Oh such memories

  2. The Gazpacho looks fabulous!! And those 12 cards were such a beautiful and supportive gift. Sending prayers for healing and recovery for your dear Rick and neighbor! 🙏💗

    1. Hi! It was so fun to make to..can you believe those cards. All the love and support have made a huge difference in this uphill slog..he’s getting there..I hope we see you guys soon!

  3. You know how much I love Gazpacho 😉 but this looks delicious and I would definitely try it. Greg and Joe are amazing friends so blessed ❤️

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