I just figured out the name of the Dos Equis guy, “The Most Interesting Man in the World“.  It must be Gazpacho.  It’s a name that sounds powerful. A man that is respected, and also intimidating.  Sounds very cool-tempered, yet firm.  Someone who wears nice jackets with printed linings. Someone who owns distinguished hats.  Someone that doesn’t say much, but when he does, everyone shuts up.  Gazpacho.

I just made Gazpacho soup for the first time.  Gazpacho is a chilled Spanish Andalucian tomato-based soup.  I’ve seen chunky versions and I’ve seen pureed versions.  I went with a chunky version to comply with my cookbooks.  [Insert pat on the back]  I didn’t have enough tomatoes, so instead of going to the store, I substituted a pound of strawberries, in place of some of the tomatoes. [Retract pat on the back] 

So what did I learn? 

1) Chunky Gazpacho failed the soup test.  A good soup must pass the soup test.  This can be a very simple exercise with your 10 year old.  If you’re going to call yourself a soup, then I would imagine you can’t get through TSA airport security.  Of the phases of matter, a soup cannot be a solid, cannot be a gas…unless it’s making an exit from your digestive system.  Soup should be pureed and slurpable.  And when you think about spilling it on the floor, you should cringe.

2) A chilled soup sounds cool (literally), but no one I know so far actually wants it or craves it.  As, I said before, the name Gazpacho is very intimidating.

3) It’s all about Marketing.  After I combined the ingredients, I was thinking “Um, gazpachoooooo…this is what we Texans call SALSA, people!!!”  Salsa test – Pass!  I did add some liquid to mine because the original goal was soup, but it was still a salsa.  So, serve it with a tortilla chip instead of a spoon and call it “Gazpacho Salsa”.

4) Some good things come about by accident.  The strawberry substitution was a great accident.  You get just a sweet, cooling hint of strawberry, but still the flavor of a good salsa. 

I don’t always make gazpacho, but when I do, I prefer strawberries.

Strawberry Gazpacho Salsa
Recipe: Adapted from MANY cookbooks, 
mostly from Cuisinart Food Processor Manual

Yield: Enough Salsa for a small village
Pre-requisite:  This is a breeze with a food processor.  This is a nightmare without it.

Ingredients:

1 jalapeno, cut into 1″ chunks
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
1 green bell pepper cut into 1″ pieces
1/2 small red onion, cut into 1″ pieces
5 roma tomatoes, cut into 1″ chunks
1/3 cup italian flat leaf parsley
1 lb strawberries, halved
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tsp salt

Directions:

1. Finely chop jalapeno and garlic cloves in food processor.  Empty into a bowl
2. Finely chop onion and parsley in food processor.  Empty into the bowl.
3. Finely chop cucumber and bell pepper in food processor.  Empty into the bowl.
3. Finely chop tomatoes and strawberries in food processor.  Empty into the bowl.
4. Add olive oil, vinegar, and salt and mix well.
5.  Chill in the fridge for an hour or overnight. 
6. Serve at room temperature with tortilla chips.