After consulting with the family chef about proper tomato usage for this summery soup, San Marzano puree was used over fresh tomatoes or tomato juice. Unless the tomatoes are extremely ripe, high quality canned is recommended. At first, I felt like I was cheating, since this soup was intended to encapsulate summer, but once chilled, the gazpacho was the pure essence of tomatoey, cucumbery, and garlicky peppery goodness.
Besides swapping the tomato juice for canned, I relied on my trusty
for guidance for the Gazpacho. A cucumber, red bell pepper, small yellow onion, garlic, parsley, scallions, lemon and lime juice, basil, cumin, and cayenne pepper were gently pureed with the tomatoes, white vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper and chilled.
For a spin on another summery favorite, I pulverized a box of organic spinach, basil, parsley, four garlic cloves, two tablespoons toasted walnuts and a little drizzling of olive oil to create a pesto. I found that spinach has a high level of water content, so you really only need a little olive oil to meld the sauce together. I mixed in parmesan cheese, salt and pepper to finish. To bolster up the buckwheat pasta, I added roasted cherry tomatoes and organic broccoli and peas (both frozen). The cherry tomatoes were oven roasted with oregano, basil, canola oil, garlic and onion powder, salt and pepper. This created a nice slightly charred and sweet tomato that burst with flavor.
The buckwheat pasta not only had a lovely hue, but also added a nutty quality and provided added fiber. The pasta was also loaded with vegetables from the spinach; which is packed with folate, beta-carotene, vitamin K, fiber, magnesium and calcium, the broccoli; which also has beta-carotene, fiber and calcium, along with iron and vitamins A, C and D, and peas, which are a good source of protein. Walnuts provided omega-3 and antioxidants.
This was a lovely summery meal that left plenty of leftovers…. too bad my fridge is broken.