Bowl with vegetables

I don’t think I would have realized how great it is to have different friends when I was young if it hadn’t been for the food. I remember how curious I was about what my friends ate at home and being invited for lunch or dinner was really exciting despite my terror of being served meat with fat bits on that I would have to eat because I had been taught never leave anything on the plate when you were someone’s guest. I realize now how enriching it was because some of my friends food traditions were quite different from my family’s, some went for Swedish traditional food and others pursued more exotic culinary paths and it was always nice to eat something that was different from I usually ate.

Hot Gaspacho With Spicy Shrimps

One of my strongest food memories is when the mother of one of my best friends fed me my first bowl of Gazpacho. I was 12 years old and I was struck by it, never had I eaten anything so good in my life, well that is a bit of an exaggeration but I fell deeply in love with it and it remained somewhere in the back of my mind for the years to come and later, when I really started to cook for myself, one of my aims was to recreate that first Gazpacho. Something I never have been able to do, it hovers in my mind as the Ur-Gazpacho, the sublimation of all existing Gazpachos in the whole universe and I have long since given up my hopes of ever tasting it again. But I have come close to it now and then, trial and error has taught me what to include and what not to include and it also have made me appreciate the different textures you can get, you can make it smooth like silk or you can make it crunchier but still a spoonable soup. The Gazpacho I am proposing today is of the crunchier type and in addition to that I added spicy shrimps as a topping but you can skip that if you just want a simple cold soup. I prefer to make my Gazpacho using a fresh tomato sauce instead of whole tomatoes, the flavour is more concentrated in this way.

Hot Gaspacho With Spicy Shrimps

4 servings

700 ml/3 cups tomato sauce, on the liquid side and not too dense
1 small red bell pepper
1 small onion
1 small cucumber, peeled
fresh chili pepper
100 g/ 3 oz small shrimps
0,5-1 tsp cumin seeds
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
extra-virgin olive oil

– Clean and chop the vegetables very finely. You get the best result by doing it by hand I find.
– Chop the chili even more finely, be careful to take away the seeds so that the soup doesn’t get too hot.
– Mix tomato sauce and vegetables, taste to check if it is salt enough or if a little sugar is needed to round off the flavours. Add more chili if it isn’t hot enough. Put in the fridge to get cold.
– Before serving the Gazpacho, sauté the shrimps quickly in a little olive oil together with the cumin and the garlic.
– Serve the soup in bowls topped with the shrimps.

Hot Gaspacho With Spicy Shrimps

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