I sat around a campfire last night, and that means it's officially summer (well, almost). Spending the afternoon or evening outside at a backyard barbecue with an open fire is one of my favorite summertime activities. There's something about enjoying the warm air with family and friends that is the epitome of fun leisure time. I sound like my grandfather- leisure time. Though picturing him at a backyard barbecue in shorts doesn't quite add up.
Much like our wardrobes, favorite foods change with the season- as they should. And since strawberries are just getting sweet, now's the time for my Strawberry Gazpacho. I have always loved gazpacho, but since discovering that I am allergic to nightshades, I've had to forgo my summertime favorite. To fill the void I've created a slightly different chilled soup with a bit of crunch. Cucumber, onion and balsamic vinegar add a savory component that perfectly balances the sweetness of the berries. It's refreshing, and accompanies the typical backyard barbecue fare (such as grilled chicken and a green salad) very well. It's a fun and surprising twist, and has beautiful color. Plus, it can easily be consumed out of a red Solo cup...
- 2 cups strawberries, hulled and diced
- 1/2 cup raspberries
- 1 cup red onion, chopped
- 1 English cucumber, diced
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (I love Fini)
- 1 lime, juiced
- extra virgin olive oil
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- fresh mint leaves, for serving
In a bowl, combine the berries, onion, cucumber, balsamic and lime juice . Toss, and season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate 4-8 hours.
Place 3/4 of berry mixture into a blender, and puree until smooth. Pour the soup into bowls, top with a spoonful of the reserved berry mixture. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.