Wednesday, September 02, 2009

This Will FILL You Up

Tomato Soup and Toast, basically. But homemade (and free of wheat products).
This is our first gazpacho of the year. Last week I came across a recipe that advised grating halved raw tomatoes on the large holes of a box grater, until all you have left is the thin tomato skin in your hand. It really works! You get the skin off, and you get nice, smooth little pieces of tomato.
I have an antique grater made of aluminum (the only icky part) which consists of a grating surface — a lid, essentially — and a dish that it sits over. You grate anything, and it falls into the dish. Perfect for tomatoes. I got into a sort of trance, grating tomatoes outside on the patio table, and pretty much filled up that grater dish.
Next, I grated a couple of raw jalapeños. Not much heat in those babies, if any. It was mostly for flavor and color.
Speaking of flavor and color, then I grated some cucumber. And some onion (well, not much color there).
This mush all went into a bowl with a glug of olive oil, a spurt of Spanish sherry vinegar, and a shake of salt. A little sitting time for flavors to develop...
And here comes the secret ingredient: Cranky ground up some raw almonds into a fine dust. He didn't even bother blanching them. They had a nice, toasty color and a slight granular texture that subbed perfectly for the slice of bread we usually blend into gazpacho. Also, almonds are part of the historic, original white gazpacho from Spain. They say. So this was a clever, anachronistic, if unconventional addition.
THAT IS IT. I couldn't even tinker with flavors, because I had already splurted the oil and vinegar into the bowl, leaving the bottles inside the house, and I wasn't going back for them. I wanted to eat.
Cranky dashed out with a batch of socca, fresh from the griddle. He cooked them a lot more like pancakes this time, not relying on the oven so much. As you might remember, soccas are made from chickpea flour, and are stunningly nutritious. You will be stuffed with bean protein.
And with the garden-flavored soup with its wallop of nut protein,


Anonymous said...

See, I am thinking your little food-ick detour is actually a great opportunity for you. It is for US as we greedily devour these posts!

(and am wondering where I stashed the box grater)

Kate said...

"Last week I came across a recipe that advised grating halved raw tomatoes on the large holes of a box grater, until all you have left is the thin tomato skin in your hand. It really works!"

That wouldn't have been my borsch recipe, would it? (I actually use the small holes of the grater.) And yes, it does work! Doesn't seem like it would though. Surprising how well a tomato skin can stand up to a box grater and protect your fingers.

cookiecrumb said...

Fast: Well, it's a lesson for us all, innit? Whatever our dietary needs. I don't think I told you one of the upshots of improving my diet is I feel HAPPY. Not just glad I don't feel sick; my mood is UP! Eeee!

Kate: Wowie! Well, whaddya know? No, it so happens I didn't get the idea from your blog (though -- people, go visit). It was in a print journo of some sort, in color as I recall so probably a magazine.
This is the beauty of shared information, Kate. Thank you for letting us know about your version. And now I have a link to your soup recipe.

Melanie said...

Would you please make a cookbook, so I can buy it?

Greg said...

You keep making all this healthy stuff look good. The socca looks like something I might explore.Safety first with the grater!:)

cookiecrumb said...

Melanie: You flatter me. Of course, this is not a recipe blog. My main wish is that people like you will learn to "cook" without recipes. I know you can.

Greg: Nothing wrong with healthy food! Sometimes it tastes great. I'm happy to wave it under your nose.

Zoomie said...

Chickpea flour, huh? Since My Beloved won't eat hummus, maybe this is a way to get chickpeas into him? I like 'em in salads, too. And tell Cranky he's a genius - great idea with the almonds!

And I'm so happy that you're HAPPY!

denise said...


Elizabeth said...

How do you do it just on the stove? Mine always get all heavy in the middle.

peter said...

Never heard of the grater method, but I can see how it would be more interesting than the blasted-in-a-blender way. Right now I'm thinking about clear gazpacho, since I love tomato water so much.

namastenancy said...

Delicious healthy food + happy lady = great day in the morning!

cookiecrumb said...

Zoomie: He'd never know it came from the legume family! I also like chickpea flour for coating fish fillets before sauteeing... I have yet to explore other uses.

Denise: I told Cranky I'd like to eat socca once a week, and he weaseled out of it. Guess I'll have to find my apron and belly up to the stove.

Elizabeth: He does use the oven, but mainly to keep them warm, I think. He flips them over on the griddle, and he says he used the broiler a little... Maybe his secret is pouring a thin amount of batter.

Peter: Oh, then you'd love the grating method. When I first peeked under the grater/lid, I saw a mound of tomato flesh surrounded by a moat of tomato water. None of that hanging in a muslin bag stuff, no sir.

Nancy: And, so nice to wake up happy in the morning! Without a severe acid-y stomach. (My lord, the grab bag of symptoms I was walking around with, not knowing...) xxx

Melanie said...

You're totally right. I never follow a recipe book. I just cook whatever comes out- but more often than not lately I find myself so inspired by your blog. I even tried my own hand at a version of pea soup- and my three year old ate it. It was a fabulous moment of my life. Maybe cookbook was the wrong wording.

cookiecrumb said...

Melanie: The word is "inspiration." And "courage." In my case, a little "wackadoo." xx
Hooray for the soup!