Gazpacho is a traditional Spanish vegetable soup mostly eaten during summer because it is served cold. This soup does not require cooking, you just need to have a decent blender and you are good to go. The result is a fresh and refreshing soup and perfect for hot summer days. Just make sure you let it get properly cold before serving it. 🙂
(makes about 5 liters; if you filter it, you end up with about 2.5 to 3 liters)
Wash the tomatoes and cut out the stalks. Take a sharp knife and make a big “X” at the bottom of the tomato.
Take a pot and heat up enough water to submerge the tomatoes in it. Once the water is hot, put the tomatoes in it and wait until the skin starts to come off. This usually takes no more than 30 seconds. Then take the tomatoes out of the water and let them cool off.
Cut the tomatoes into chunks and put them into the blender.
Wash and peel the cucumbers. Dice them and put the pieces into the blender.
Peel the cloves of garlic, cut them into slices, and add them to the rest of the ingredients in the blender.
Take the slices of toast and cut off the crust. Put the crust to the side; you can use it for the toppings later. Soak the bread for 10-15 minutes in cold water, then carefully squeeze out the water and put the bread into the blender.
Blend all your ingredients thoroughly in the blender.
Add at least 2 teaspoons of salt and freshly ground pepper each, 8 tablespoons of olive oil, 6 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, 2 tablespoons of “crema de balsamico”, and 2 teaspoons of oregano. Add potherbs as you see fit (I am a big fan, so I add 4-5 tablespoons easily). Blend again.
Take a food mill and sieve the blended soup. Let it sit for 30 minutes, taste it, and adjust the seasoning.
Refrigerate for at least 6 hours. When serving, the gazpacho must be very cold.
Before serving, prepare the toppings.
Wash the bell peppers and dice them.
Wash the cucumber, peel, and dice it.
Wash and dice the tomatoes.
Cut the slices of toast into pieces. Take the leftover crusts from the toast for the gazpacho and cut them into pieces as well. Take out a small pan and heat up 4-5 tablespoons of olive oil. Fry the pieces of toast in the oil until they are golden brown. Season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
Sprinkle the toppings on the gazpacho and serve it. Enjoy cold!
This lemon sorbet is easy to make and super refreshing, making it the perfect dessert. But it also tastes great if you add a scoop or two to a glass of sparkling wine or a glass of sparkling mineral water infused with elderflower syrup.
150 ml lemon juice (about 5-6 small lemons)
100 ml water
50 g sugar
How to Make It
Squeeze the juice from the lemons. Make sure so pick out the seeds afterwards. Keep the pulp.
Mix the lemon juice and the water in a pot.
Stir in the sugar. Heat up the liquid just enough so that the sugar dissolves.
Pour the mixture into your ice-cream machine and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
When my husband came to Germany, he discovered cream cheese and has been a fan ever since. 🙂 Needless to say, self-made cream cheese tastes so much better than the store-bought alternative. This recipe is super easy and does not take long at all – and you can add whatever additional ingredients you like.
This potato bread may seem a bit unusual at first glance, but it is absolutely worth a try. It has a crunchy crust and is quite light and fluffy inside. Tastes great with self-made cream cheese, fruity jam, or aromatic ham. 🙂
If you are looking for a refreshing (and healthy) beverage to cool off during the summer, ginger water may be the thing for you!
For the “Base”
70 g of chopped ginger
70 ml of water
For the Drink
⅛ ginger water
⅞ sparkling mineral water
about 1 tablespoon of honey of maple syrup
How to Make It
Wash and peel the ginger, then cut it into pieces.
Blend the pieces of ginger with the water thoroughly. Pour the blended mix through a strainer to filter out the fibers. The resulting liquid. is your “base.” You can store it in a bottle the fridge for about ten days.
For the actual beverage, mix ⅛ of ginger water with ⅞ of sparkling mineral water.
Add honey or maple syrup to sweeten it. Stir thoroughly and enjoy.
In summer, we usually end up eating more salads since they are a lighter, easy meal when it is too warm outside to cook. This lentil salad is super-healthy and the pomegranate seeds give it a fresh and fruity flavor. Let me know what you think. 🙂
(enough for 4 people)
For the Salad
200 g black lentils
125 g arugula
250 g feta cheese
350 g pomegranate seeds (about 1½ pomegranates)
150 g chopped walnuts
For the Dressing
50 ml olive oil
25 ml balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon “crema de balsamico,” i.e. balsamic vinegar cream, a thicker and more aromatic version of the vinegar
2 teaspoons coarse salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons chopped garden herbs
How to Make It
Cook the lentils according to the instructions on the box. Pour out the water and let them cool off, then put them into a big bowl.
In the meantime, wash the arugula. I always cut the leaves to make it easier to eat. 😉 Put the arugula into a big bowl.
Dice the feta cheese and add it to the bowl.
Chop up the walnuts and add them to the rest.
Peel the pomegranates to collect the seeds. Careful, it can get a bit messy… Add the pomegranate seeds to the salad.
In a separate little bowl, mix the dressing. Add it to the salad and mix it well.
Before serving, sprinkle the garden herbs on top. Enjoy! 🙂
Banana bread is a classic comfort food, especially in the U.S. Now with the corona virus slowing down all public life and confining families to their homes, it has made a spectacular comeback. The sweet taste is certainly soothing, and baking does bring people together, turning it into a stabilizing tradition. Sharing food is a great way to connect with loved ones, so I thought I would post my favorite recipe for banana bread here as well. This is a recipe friends kindly shared with me years ago and that is also why the ingredients are listed in American measures.
1 cup walnuts or pecan nuts
1¾ cups flour (basic wheat flour will do)
¾ cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup melted butter
3-4 really ripe bananas
1 teaspoon vanilla
How to Make It
Preheat the oven to 180° C.
Take a bowl and mix the flour, the sugar, the baking powder, the baking soda, the salt, and the cinnamon.
Chop the nuts and add them to the flour-sugar mix.
Squash the bananas with a fork.
Take a second bowl and mix the squashed bananas, the eggs, the melted butter, and the vanilla.
Carefully fold in the liquid contents of the second bowl into the dry ingredients of the first bowl. You want to make sure that the dough is thick and chunky.
Butter a baking tin and pour the dough into it.
Bake for 50-60 minutes at 180° C until the banana bread is golden brown on top. Let it cool down.
If you love chocolate ice-cream, this one is for you! It has a deliciously aromatic chocolate flavor because of the cocoa, but the nougat also adds a sweet component – the result is a rich and intense ice-cream. The touch of Irish cream liqueur adds a bit of a twist and ensures you have an easy to make, yet fancy dessert that is mouthwatering any time of the year.
400 g cream
150 ml Irish cream liqueur (chocolate flavor)
250 g nougat
100 g cocoa powder (the kind used for baking without sugar)
200 g sugar
How to Make It
Mix the cream and the liqueur together in a pot.
Add the nougat in chunks and carefully heat up the mixture. Make sure not to boil it, though. Stir to dissolve the nougat.
Add the cocoa powder and stir until everything is dissolved.
Let the mixture cool down a bit.
In the meantime, whip up the eggs until they are very (!) fluffy.
Add the sugar to the eggs and beat it again until the sugar is dissolved.
Carefully stir in the chocolate-nougat-cream into the egg-sugar foam.
Pour the mixture into your ice-cream machine and freeze following the manufacturer’s instructions.
This pizza takes a bit longer to prepare, but the effort is absolutely worth it! Depending on how much curry powder you add, the chicken pieces can become quite spicy, giving this pizza an interesting twist. The caramelized onion provides a sweet note to the whole affair.
We are currently eating a lot of oatmeal, in part because we “rediscovered” it as breakfast option in the form of porridge. So naturally I wanted to try to put it into bread as well. I love how it turned out, especially the aromatic flavor of the oatmeal flakes.
280-300 ml lukewarm yeast water (if you do not have any at hand, just use regular water)
How to Make It
Mix the two types of flour and the oatmeal flakes together. Add the syrup (or honey) and the salt and mix it. Add the sourdough and mix it.
Keep mixing and slowly add the lukewarm yeast water.
Knead the dough for at least 10 minutes.
Put the dough in an oiled bowl, cover it, and let it rest in a warm spot for at least 2½ to 3 hours. The dough should have grown significantly in size.
Take a spatula and fold the outer edges into the middle of the ball of dough and put the loaf into a proofing basket (really, any kind of breadbasket works fine in my experience). If you do not own one, no problem at all – just form a loaf with your hands. Cover the loaf with a moist towel and let it rest in a warm spot for another 2-3 hours (the longer, the better).
Preheat the oven to 250° C. If you have a pizza stone, great – put it on the oven now and heat it up thoroughly. If you do not have a pizza stone, also no problem – you can bake your bread on a normal baking tray. I recommend heating up the tray in the oven as well.
Take a sharp knife and make three diagonal cuts across the loaf. Sprinkle the loaf with a bit of water and a bit of flour.
Fill a fire-resistant small bowl with water and put it on the floor of the oven.
Bake the bread at 250° C for 10 minutes. Then lower the heat to 200° C and bake the loaf for another 30-40 minutes.
Once the bread is done, turn off the oven and let the bread cool inside the oven.