There was a lot of political debate last week about the First Lady’s use or not of her better judgement when she decided to take a steamy and summery vacation to España. I personally thought the trip was a bit suspect, as it fell on her husband’s birthday week. But, who knows if he padded her puffy skirt pockets with lots of dough for her and pretty Sasha to hang in high style and eat like true gourmands.
After all, Spain can honestly boast having one of the world’s most enticing, refined, creative and innovative cuisines. For the First Lady to pass up any opportunity to eat like Queen during her visit, would be a crime. So, she did just that and paid respect in fashionable grace by having a delightful dinner with the King and Queen of the country. While details on dinner are a bit obscure, we do know she and the Queen know how to pose after the planned evening. This just in. Dinner was replete with char grilled turbot, veal escalopes with mustard, Oriental rice with sautéed mushrooms, a Mallorca-style vegetable ratatouille and sliced fruit with ice cream. To drink: Wine from the northern regions of Rueda and Rioja.
We also know Michelle indulged in the nation’s traditional and ubiquitous gazpacho. A trip to Spain is not a genuine if you don’t enjoy a robust bowl of the cold sopa de tomate or tomato soup.
This world famous soup has been seen and tasted in different varieties, including black bean (I have a delicious picture to tease you with). But, the all time classic is pretty simple and can be the perfect refresher for a steamy afternoon. Although I didn’t have any gazpacho on my last trip to Spain, I vividly remember sitting with my family 11 years ago, outside on a brick patio and under a gorgeous tree. We all sipped our soups and begged to have one just one more taste.
I like to think that I make an equally authentic gazpacho and one for my entire family to enjoy until we can make it make to España. I even think and am confident this one is the First Lady would love to write down!
Having played with different versions and aromatic spices and herbs, this is what I ultimately decided on.
I hope you enjoy as much as we do!
- 5 medium vine tomatoes, chopped
- 1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
- 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
- 1 medium white onion, chopped
- 5 cloves garlic
- 4 large basil leaves
- 1/2 jalapeño, rinsed & seeded
- 8 tsp. red wine vinegar
- 8 heaping tsp. high quality olive oil
- 4 tbsp. Manchego cheese, grated and parted (optional, but so good!)
- 1 tsp. sea salt