Sunday morning and what am I doing? Making gazpacho soup. I’ve done it many times, and I typically combine a few recipes I have in my head depending on how I’m feeling on a given day. And I love it.

Sometimes it gets effervescent. I’m not sure how I introduce that quality. I suspect it’s some kind of fermentation process. But generally, it’s crispy, bright, tangy, and fresh. The key word is…fresh…fresh on a hot summer afternoon with a Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio and a crusty baguette. You can also add a dollop of sour cream (or tofutti sour cream as today’s culture often dictates); chopped cilantro and avocado are heavenly toppings as well.

And the kids are coming over. What a treat.

Crisp white bowls are really the ticket here. Nettie and I have a set we bought especially for soups such as Gazpacho. These bowls are large, but shallow, with a wide brim that gives them an elegant presentation, if one may call a meal served on the patio table around the pool elegant. Yes, one may call it elegant. The volume of the bowl is important. Not too much, not too little, just the perfect amount as an appetizer to the main meal, which today is wild caught sockeye salmon, the first of the season.

I’m recording this blog as I drive out to the market early because I’ve forgotten an important ingredient for the gazpacho, which is green bell pepper. Funny thing is, I didn’t forget the pepper. In fact, I bought three yesterday. Two for the meal we prepared for friends on Saturday, and then one to save for the gazpacho today. What happened to the third pepper? Forgetfulness.

In this age of trivial misplacement, I cooked all three yesterday and was surprised that I had more pepper than I needed for Saturday’s dish. It didn’t occur to me until this morning that I had highjacked today’s ingredients for yesterday’s meal.

It turns out, though, the error has lead to an unexpectedly wonderful drive on a Sunday morning while most of the world is still in bed, or at least in the house brewing coffee or buttering toast.

The roads are empty. The morning air is cool. The birds are singing only for me. This early day reminds me of being a kid in the Valley when all the summer mornings were new and shiny, clean and clear and full of expectation.

I’ll be arriving at the market just as it opens. I’ll be sharing the aisles with one or two others, nodding a good morning. The produce people will be putting out today’s fruits and vegetables. The deli will be baking bread and making sandwiches for beach-goers or picnic-makers who will finish their coffee, take a shower, pack the kids in the car and come by this store in the heated, mid-morning rush.

I’ll be long gone by then, putting the finishing touches on my soup. Nettie will have assembled her smoky paprika shrimp dip and her seasonal peach cobbler. And we’ll be cleaning up and getting ready for the Sunday afternoon meal that begins with chilled Gazpacho in elegant white bowls and the family around the table.

I hope your Sunday is as peaceful and pleasant as mine. Let’s raise our glasses high!



5 Responses to Gazpacho In The Afternoon

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  2. Ursula McNeil says:

    Frank, I want that recipe concoction! I love gazpacho and maybe even Nettie’s dip. We just got back from a rivercruise from St. Pets to Moscow and it couldn’t have been better. I managed on my injured leg to walk the miles of the Hermitage Museum and all the other adventures but I am suffering now for all that activity. About 8 birthdays to attend in the last month and it’s amazing how everyone else is getting older but me!! Miss you guys a lot, Ursula

    • fz says:

      Hey Ursula,

      Thanks for the comment and for continuing to read my blog. I appreciate your interest. I passed the recipe request to Annette. I did the soup, she did the shrimp dip and I’m sure she’ll want to chat with you besides. She’ll send you both recipes. Sounds like your vacation was terrific! We miss you, too. We keep threatening to visit, but can’t seem to plan the time…

  3. fz says:

    Thanks! When you’re down this way, we’d love to tip a few with you on our patio…

  4. david says:

    great post Frank! – to lazy sunday afternoons

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