summer idea 01 :: gazpacho al fresco

A title of spanish and italian words? Doesn't get much better that that.

We recently got some garden furniture for our back garden, and although we don't have a BBQ just yet, I couldn't wait to make use of it (we all know that true summer days in the UK are fleeting!) so we had a little al fresco dinner last weekend.

Gazpacho soup is a favourite of mine in the summer months - it is just so embarrassingly easy, there's no need for heat on those hotter days, and it's foolproof paired with some charcuterie and bread. The raw red onion and chilli give it a bit of a kick which I like, but you can adjust the quantity to your liking.

I've popped the "recipe" at the end of the post, but it's a) not even a recipe, really and b) you can customise it to your heart's desire. It's probably not the most authentic one you'll come across, but it's good enough for us!

To drink, I improvised and made a grown up lemonade - generous shot of Limoncello & cold, sparkling water. It was so refreshing and delicious, I don't know why I didn't think of it before!

I am absolutely in love with these colourful bowls - I had eyed them up for a while in Anthropologie, so when they went on sale and I spotted them for 2.95 each (originally 12.95!), I went a little nuts and bought two each in 3 different colours. I adore them.

I hope to have many more dinners outside before the season's over - there is just something so relaxing and lovely about sitting in the evening sunshine with good food and good company, isn't there?

Gazpacho

Ingredients:
8-12 medium ripe vine tomatoes
half a cucumber
1 large or 2 medium celery stalks
half large red pepper
half large green pepper
half red onion
2-3 cloves garlic
one fresh red chilli
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus a little more to serve
2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
juice of half a lemon
salt & pepper to taste

To make:
1) Roughly chop all the vegetables, throw everything into a blender (or a large bowl if using a hand blender), and blitz until smooth.
2) Chill for at least a couple of hours. To serve, garnish with some finely chopped green and red peppers, and top with a little olive oil.

P.S. I was recently interviewed on the lovely blog OtherMix all about my running habits, how it started, etc. - head over there to read, and also read all the other runners she's interviewed here