I ♥ Heart ♥ Tomatoes

Appetizer, Mediterranean, Soup, Vegetarian

I heart ♥ tomatoes.

My sister hearts tomatoes too.  We are a family that is somewhat addicted to tomatoes and can easily use 20 tomatoes in a week.

I very clearly remember opening the refrigerator as a young girl looking for a snack mid-afternoon and reaching into the vegetable drawers to grab A TOMATO!  Yes, we were and still are a healthy family.  A dear friend of mine who has many fond memories of us growing up together reminds me every single time we meet about how I used to snack on celery, which he hated, instead of having a brownie or a meringue.  I clearly remember visiting my family here in Miami when I was a little-er girl and eating tomatoes as a snack sprinkled with a little bit of salt. I am sure that if you ask my cousins about this, they will remember.

Mati, I hope you had a fantastic weekend and I cannot wait to see the Botanical Garden pictures that you told me about.  I love flowers too and Botanical Gardens are a special place. Last year A and I spent 3 days in Montreal in June and we visited their spectacular Garden and few weeks ago we also visited the Morikami Japanese Gardens in Boca.  Gardens are such a special place right?

Fran at the Botanical Gardens in Montreal

Back to tomatoes ehh?

I got the cravings for tomatoes.  I could eat a tomato with every single one of my meals, and I almost do!

I told you about this really amazing book that I got a few weeks ago, Appetizers Finger Food Buffets and Parties, and last week I decided to give it a try.


Gazpacho is a cold Spanish tomato-based raw vegetable soup, originating in the southern region of Andalusia.  Gazpacho is mostly consumed during the summer months, due to its refreshing qualities, and yes, we are in summer mode in Miami already, even though we woke up to torrential rains this morning and had Flood Advisory warnings.  But summer is here.

Gazpacho is easy, and now that you have a blender it will be your next favorite summer soup.


  • 2 slices day-old bread
  • 600 ml/ 2 1/2 cups chilled water
  • 1 kg/2 1/4 lbs tomatoes (I used 7 roma tomatoes)
  • 1 cucumber peeled and seeded
  • 1 red bell pepper seeded and chopped– I also added some yellow peppers.
  • 1 fresh green chilli, seeded and chopped (I could not find– just used a hot pepper)
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 30 ml/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of 1 lime and 1 lemon
  • few drops of Tabasco sauce
  • salt and ground pepper
  • handful of fresh basil for garnish
  • 1 ripe avocado (Hass avocados for superior flavor)
  • Croutons a la Matina


  1. Make the soup first.  Place the bread in a shallow bowl and cover with water. Let it soak for about 5 minutes.
  2. Place the tomatoes in a heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave for about 30 seconds, then peel, seed, and chop. I do not mind the seeds so I did not seed it.
  3. Peel the cucumber and cut it in half length-ways. Scoop out the seeds and chop.
  4. Place the soaked bread, tomatoes, peppers, chilli, garlic, oil, lemon and lime juices, Tabasco and some water in the food processor or blender, and blend until mixed but still chunky. (*I think that the 2 1/2 cups of water is a lot and did not add it all.  I wanted mine not to be too watery. Play with the amount until you get it just right!*)
  5. Season with Salt and Pepper
  6. You can add croutons if you want and follow the Croutons a la Matina recipe or just buy them from the supermarket.
  7. Place the gazpacho in the refrigerator to chill.
  8. Just before serving cut up the avocado and toss it with some lemon juice to prevent it from turning brown.
  9. When you are ready to eat serve the gazpacho and garnish with basil avocado and serve the croutons separately.


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