Nothing shouts SUMMER like a fabulous chilled bowl (or cup) of gazpacho. Gazpacho is a chilled raw tomato-based soup that hails from Spain and Portugal – although some say that before that, it likely had Arabic roots. In any case, it’s a delicious, refreshing soup that fares well as a mid-afternoon snack, cocktail hors d’oeuvres, or appetizer. Even better, it’s incredibly simple to make. That said, note that this soup does need to chill for at least 2 hours, so if you’re crunched for time to serve something right away, it may not be the best soup to make.
- 14 large tomatoes
- 1 green capsicum pepper
- 1 red capsicum pepper
- 1 red chili pepper, deseeded (unless you want your soup quite spicy)
- 1 garlic clove
- 3 large basil leaves, fresh
- 1 lime, fully squeezed
- 2 slices of bread (wheat-based is best, but really, you can use any kind), toasted
- 2 tablespoons of oliver oil
- 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
- 1 to 2 tablespoons of honey
As the weather transitions from the rainy spring into a warmer summer (and it has certainly taken its time this year), I always start craving a soup that is lighter in both flavour and consistency. My favourite: Chinese fish maw egg drop soup.
It’s worth noting that many restaurants will offer this soup with crab meat in it – which you can also add. Just be sure to use real crab meat rather than the fake crab meat that’s available in most grocery stores, as the chunky texture won’t be a good match for this soup.
Whenever I make soup, I tend to make a large pot that will serve four to five people comfortably. If you need more or less, adjust the below ingredient proportions accordingly.
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 3 to 4 cups of dried fish maw, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup of dried shitake or Chinese mushrooms (or 5 fresh shitake mushrooms), chopped
- 3 dried figs (used whole)
- 1/3 cup of lotus seeds
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 tablespoon of corn starch
- 1/2 teaspoon of pepper, or to taste
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of salt, or to taste Continue reading
For many small space dwellers, the idea of a garden is a sad, lofty idea. I succumbed to the magic of the plant world when I grew my first bean plant in the third grade. A little cliché? Perhaps. But there’s something oddly gratifying about seeing a delicate stem slowly poke its head through the soil after weeks of anticipation.
This was no exception when I decided to grow basil and pansies from seed. All it took was a growing kit to call my name and determination was reignited in me to start some summer edibles. The hard part was, of course, the growing part. I had cared for an orchid for several years, but that had come ready-to-go with full blooms from the garden centre. The kit instructions were simple enough and straightforward, but I had questions. What is germination? Do the seeds need light or darkness to germinate? Sprinkle the seeds across the top or mark off rows? Suddenly, I had made growing very complicated. I finally decided on a mixed method. By and large, I followed the kit instructions guided by the swirl of gardening research that was swimming in my head.
I’m proud (and relieved!) to announce, that despite my misgivings, both the basil (picture above) and pansy seeds have sprouted. With a bit of luck, I may be able to harvest some leaves and blooms in another 6-8 weeks. Here’s to the beginnings of a small space “garden”!