Here’s the thing. I can grow herbs with no problem…LOTS of them. Basil, tarragon, rosemary, parsley, thyme, sage, mint and mint and more mint. But that’s it…when it comes to vegetables I am a dismal failure. My mom, on the other hand, can grow tomatoes and green beans and pumpkins and zucchini and a million other things, and when I was leaving her house the other day I embezzled this guy from a giant jalapeno pepper bush that she had going. (Bush? Vine? Plant? Tree? I don’t know the technical term…I just know I saw him, and he was calling out to me, so I picked him.)
And then I remembered that I had this recipe for a spicy BLT soup that I had been meaning to make, and guess what it called for…yep. One perfect little jalapeno. And this is as good a time as any to give you my standard jalapeno advice, which is to wear surgical gloves (which you can get by the box) in your friendly neighborhood drugstore. All it takes is forgetting to do this and then taking out your contact lenses ONE time to emblazon this on your brain forever and ever.
Anyway. The soup is basically a quick and easy gazpacho-type number, which is thickened up a little by adding some torn up breads before you puree it. And then just before you serve it, you garnish it with however much B, L and T you would like. (I like a lot. I am all about the garnish in this one.) You could also float some nice homemade croutons on top if you have any hanging around…I didn’t, but I plan to next time.
And to think, it all started with a stolen pepper!
- 2 pounds chopped tomatoes
- Coarse salt and fresh ground pepper
- 1 small cucumber, peeled and chopped
- 1–2 jalapenos (depending on how spicy you like things), stemmed, seeded and chopped
- 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, smashed and peeled
- 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
- 1 slice white bread, crust removed and torn into pieces
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- Crumbled cooked bacon, shredded lettuce, halved cherry tomatoes and croutons for garnish
- Sprinkle tomatoes with 1/4 teaspoon salt and let sit for 10 minutes.
- Combine tomatoes, cucumber, peppers, onion, garlic, vinegar, bread, oil and sugar in blender and puree until smooth, about one minute. Refrigerate until cold, about 2 hours.
- Stir, season to taste with salt and pepper and serve with as much garnish as you like!
Recipe adapted from COOKING BY THE MOMENT