Thursday, April 16, 2015


Walking through the narrow streets of Spain, you will quickly get a sense of this fascinating culture filled with history, as seen through its stunning ancient architecture. You'll be greeted by some of the friendliest people on the planet, and you will smell some inviting aromas coming from the countless cafes and restaurants.  

The food in Spain is full of zest and flavor. They usually have a big lunch (la comida) in the mid afternoon (approximately 2-3 pm). At that time, the typically vibrant streets become empty, as everyone is eating a meal with their families. The meal is then followed by sobremesaSobremesa is usually a period of time after the meal where you stay for a chat. Don't you dare get up right after your meal as sobremesa is sacred! It can last from 15 minutes up to a few hours, and the time is filled with passionate and spirited conversations.

They usually eat dinner (la cena) later on in the evening (approximately 8-9pm), La cena usually consists of a lighter meal than the one during la comida. A popular la cena option is meeting up in bars for tapas. Tapas are basically small plates, with hot or cold food. Typical of the Spanish cuisine, tapas resemble appetizers that are shared with the whole table. Serving tapas encourages conversation since people are not so focused on their own meal which would otherwise would have been set in front of them. Often times they are eaten standing up with a drink in hand. It is a very social time of the day. I absolutely love Spanish tapas! Although most have meat of cheese on them, some are made with vegetables, and are suitable for a plant based diet. 

The popular gazpacho soup is often times served during tapas. It is basically a cold soup made with a zesty tomato base and raw vegetables with a few garnishes on top such as avocados, cucumbers, or other fresh cold chopped veggies. It is usually served in small bowls, and is definitely refreshing on hot summer nights. It is staple of Spanish cuisine as it is found on most restaurant menus, and is absolutely delightful! 
There are so many variations of this gazpacho, but here I give you a more traditional taste. The second best thing next to being in Spain, is having a little bit of Spain come to us with this zesty and easy to make soup.



For the soup:

3 large, juicy tomatoes, chopped into large chunks
1/2 cucumber, chopped into large chunks
1/2 red pepper, seeded and chopped into large chunks
1/2 jalapeno, seeded (optional, spicy)
1 large garlic clove
1 tablespoon of lime juice
1 teaspoon of Bragg liquid aminos  (substitute tamari or soy sauce if you do not have it)
1 teaspoon raw apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon of cumin
1 teaspoon of pepper
1/2 teaspoon of sea salt

For the garnish:

2 tablespoons of red onions, chopped small
1/4 of a cucumber, chopped small
1/2 jalapeno, seeded and chopped small (optional)
1 avocado, skin removed, pitted, and chopped small
2 tablespoons of cilantro, chopped


In a blender, put in all of the soup ingredients and blend until very smooth.
In a small bowl, mix all the garnish ingredients together, reserve.
Pour the gazpacho soup into individual bowls and put some of the garnish mixture equally on top of each of them.
Serve cold.

This will make 4 servings

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