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Peter's Gazpacho In Tom's Kitchen

When Peter, a good friend and good cook, made gazpacho and invited us for dinner, I knew it was going to be fantastic. His Mom got the recipe from the LA Times in the late 70's and he's been making it for years. Peter handed me the recipe as I was leaving and it's one I'll treasure. He had emailed his sister for the recipe and her response included an update on her daughter's impending delivery. Every time I make gazpacho, I will think of Peter, his Mom and the baby that was born a few days after our dinner. When I was in Minneapolis a few weeks later, I knew exactly what to make for my family.

We spent the afternoon at my brother, Tom's, house and it was just what I needed. I am a homebody (more accurately, a kitchenbody) at heart and while I love eating in restaurants, I hadn't spent any time in a kitchen for two days and I missed it. I knew I wanted to make gazpacho and knew cooking with Tom would be a blast. He has three little girls and his house reminds me of our house when the kids were little— laughter, chaos and a few screams thrown in for good measure. There were eight kids running through the kitchen and I was in heaven.

We went to the St Paul Farmers Market and bought some of the most beautiful vegetables I had seen all summer. The colors and textures were astounding. There was a rainbow of purple carrots, bright green basil, yellow tomatoes and red peppers going into the soup; it was shaping up to be an extraordinary batch of gazpacho.

Tom is number three in the family line-up and he had the good (or bad, depending on who you ask) fortune of being born between five sisters. My other brother, Michael, is number seven and at 14 years younger than Tom, not much help in mitigating all that sisterly energy. To say Tom has been a good sport would be an understatement. Thankfully, he has forgiven or forgotten most of it (I am Cait's godmother, after all) and we have a great time when we get together. He is a great cook, has really nice knives and is super tidy in the kitchen— I was so happy to be at his house.

I was at Bill's Imports before I went to Tom's and picked up some pepitas for parsley pepita pesto (recipe here) on Epicurious. It was perfect for the gazpacho.

Peter's Gazpacho

4 cups V8 Juice 1/4 cup chili sauce 2 tbsp red wine vinegar 2 tbsp tarragon, minced 1 tbsp basil, minced 1 tbsp lime juice 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce 1 tsp salt 1/2 tsp mace 2 tbsp olive oil 1 clove garlic, minced 1 tbsp cilantro, minced 2 tsp parsley, minced 1 cup tomatoes, peeled, chopped and seeded 16 ounce can on Ro-tel 1/2 cup onion, chopped 1/2 cup cucumber, peeled, chopped and seeded 1/2 cup celery, minced 1/2 cup red pepper, minced 1/3 cup cooked carrots, minced

Add everything to a large pot and stir to combine. It should sit for a couple hours to let the flavors develop, taste for salt before serving. I made a seasoned sour cream (add chopped cilantro, minced garlic and lime juice to sour cream) to serve on top of the gazpacho with the pepita pesto.