A heat wave in a land with very little air conditioning may bring out the pioneer in a better woman, but MY theme for today is “I don’t wanna.” I don’t wanna go outside, I don’t wanna heat up the kitchen, I don’t wanna-nother salad, and I surely don’t wanna go to the store.
Last night’s solution was to pick up gyros from down the street – a great decision, but we can’t always order takeout, can we?
As luck would have it, I remembered my friend Ginny talking about the heat wave she’s headed into this upcoming week, in Washington, D.C. That reminded me of Busboys and Poets, a delightful restaurant we ate from during our quick D.C. stop last month, purveyors of the finest yellow tomato gazpacho in all the land.
Gazpacho! Gazpacho is the answer. I love a good, cold tomato soup when it’s hot outside. It’s the end of the month, though, and the mere beginning of summer gardening, and I have no fresh tomatoes or peppers or cucumbers or olive oil.
This is where it gets good, and where a primal compulsion to preserve vegetables comes in handy. I do have sesame oil and herbs in the garden, and my home-canned and frozen veggies work just fine. With just a little creativity, an Asian-style gazpacho came together in literally five minutes’ time.
Sesame basil gazpacho
1 quart whole tomatoes, drained
1 1/2 C. reserved tomato liquid
Two large peppers, fresh or frozen, diced
1 small onion, halved
1-2 cloves garlic
2 T Thai basil
1 T salad burnett (a fresh herb that tastes like cucumber – optional)
1 t coriander powder (or 1 T fresh cilantro)
2 T toasted sesame oil
High-quality salt, to taste
Place the first five ingredients in a blender and puree them. Add herbs and oil and blend them in. Salt to taste, and add more liquid if the soup is not thin enough. Refrigerate until it’s cold, then let this cooling nectar work its magic on your sweaty self.