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Last weekend in New Mexico I went to the splendid Santa Fe farmers market where I was dazzled by vegetables. I was on a mission for proper tomatoes and I was not disappointed. There, lying in a shallow green rennet, sat Brandywine toms, plumb and remarkable. I bought six of them; I was elated.  Alas, four of them did not travel well home to Arizona. They were bruised and already feeling like a touch would make an explosion of ruby red. What to do?  Answer: make gazpacho.

Gazpacho is the soup of the gods, or at least the demigods. It is Ur Truly’s favorite summer soup. There are many varieties on the recipe. Mine is simple, fast, and delicious – like my men.

This is a good time to admit I am not good at chopping vegetables. I am amazed and a bit envious of folks who can chop whole objects quick as a quarter note into homogenous little cubes. Perhaps it is a matter of having the proper knife and instruction and practice. Whatever is the key factors are I ain’t got them. As I chop pieces fly away as if trying to escape. They never come out looking nice. I call it “country style” but no one buys it.

With gazpacho ill-chopped veggies is sort of a moot point as most of them go into the food processor, which has its own challenges. No matter how careful I try to be pureed tomatoes etc. go all over and making the kitchen look like an abattoir.

I chopped and pureed my NM tomatoes with a cucumber, a red onion, and a green pepper, along with some olive oil, and garlic. The William-Sonoma recipe calls for red vinegar and tomato juice but I wonder if a little red wine would be better. I was not about to experiment with these tomatoes; the gazpacho must not be bungled and be tossed down the swanny. I stuck to the usual instructions.

I have made enough gazpacho to feed a popular restaurant at lunch hour. Alas, Someone doesn’t like gazpacho. I purposely left out the ‘bready’ ingredient of which he objects, but this was not enough to lure him into a bowl. I sense I am going to eat gazpacho all week. But I don’t mind. There is nothing more delightful than a cold cup of gazpacho on a hot summer evening.

And for Spo-fans who are ‘in the know’: I leave out the barbiturates.

thEBGIJNOK

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