July 16, 2015 · 6:10 pm
photo by Laya Crust
There were a number of occasions when the Israelites complained about their food choices while in the desert. They complained about the lack of water and longed for the “melons, cucumbers, leeks and garlic” they remembered from Egypt. Israel and the Middle East is know for its abundance of wonderful fruits and vegetables in the summer. Israel particularly, with its use of drip irrigation has a fabulous choice of delicious produce during the summer.
Gazpacho is a cold soup made with fresh vegetables and/ or fruit. Here is an easy vegetable gazpacho recipe. If you are looking for an easy, refreshing appetizer for a Shabbat or summer lunch, this is it.
Laya’s Easy Gazpacho:
1 green pepper
1 packed cup parsley
4 cloves garlic
1 large tin tomato juice
salt and pepper to taste
Cut all the vegetables into large chunks. Toss them all into your food processor, add a little tomato juice, and blend it until it is the consistency you like . (I like mine to be a little chunky- not completely smooth)
Add the crushed garlic, the juice of half a lemon, and salt and pepper to taste. You may want to add the rest of the lemon juice or more garlic, depending on your palate. Add the remainder of the tomato juice and voila, it’s ready to serve.
A great thing about these basic ingredients is that they are the foundation for a number of recipes including Israeli salad and tabouli. When you try it let me know how you like it!
Enjoy these days of summer and have a Shabbat Shalom!
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June 10, 2015 · 2:46 pm
All photos by Laya Crust
When the Israelites left Egypt they wandered in the desert for 40 years without a great deal of choice in their menu.
In frustration they yelled out- “We remember remember the fish, which we ate in Egypt for nothing [it was free]; the cucumbers and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlic: but now our soul is dried away: there is nothing at all, except for this manna… ” (Numbers ch 11: v 5,6)
Now that summer is here we can identify with the Israelites longing for nice, cool melons and watermelons in the hot desert. Today I’d like to share a lovely fruit soup using melons, watermelons and other fruit grown in Israel that you can serve as a refreshing appetizer or delicious dessert at a summer meal.
Watermelon Fruit Soup
prep: 1/2 hour yield: 10 servings
1/2 watermelon 1/2 cantaloupe
1 apple 4-6 strawberries
1- 1 1/2 c. grapes 1 Tbsp. mint leaves
Juice of 1/2 lemon 1 – 2 Tbsp. honey
1 mango- finely diced
1/2 cup Israeli white wine
pomegranate seeds and mint leaves to garnish
Roughly chop the first 5 fruits.
Blend them with the honey, lemon juice and white wine using an immersion blender or standing blender. You can do it in 2 or three batches if that’s easier. I like a textured fruit soup so I leave it a little chunky. You may prefer a smooth texture.
Add the finely diced mango. Refrigerate.
Serve in a soup bowl or your grandmother’s beautiful china cups. Garnish with pomegranate seeds and mint leaves.
A glass of white wine is a lovely accompaniment!
The Israelites may not have had this fruit soup in Egypt, but you can enjoy it today! (And there is a watermelon GAzpacho that uses more of the ingredients the Israelis cried out for… I’ll share that with you another day!)
HAve a wonderful week and a Shabbat Shalom,
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