With summer in full swing, it’s the perfect time to pay a visit to your local farmers market. Stalls are brimming with seasonal, local, and organic vegetables (think eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, kale), and fruit (peaches, nectarines, plums, pluots, berries, citrus). Samples for just about everything are available and we encourage you to try before you buy. Similarly, make friends with the farmers who grow this bounty. They are happy to answer your questions about different varieties, growing methods, etc., and if you ask real nicely, you might even score a discount on your order. Of course the best deals at the farmers markets are usually right at the opening and again in the half-hour or so before closing.
If you happen to live in Southern California, there are so may farmers markets to choose from. This past Sunday, we decided to check out one of the local farmers market. Armed with an appetite for our favorite fruit (Flavor King pluots), we started out by taking a walk around the market to get the lay of the land and check out who was selling what. Two different vendors were selling the beautiful and delicious Flavor Kings. Impulsively we bought a bagful from the first stand. After paying (tip – bring small bills in cash), we made our way over to the second farmer, who had a considerably larger variety of pluots and plums to choose from. Of course we had to buy from him too! We filled our bags with even more of the plumogranate and cherryplum varieties. Oh happy day!
Towards the end of the market we turned our eyes to our other favorite of the season – heirloom tomatoes. We picked up some blemish-free orange and red tomatoes, a bunch of cilantro, and became inspired to whip up some gazpacho soup – perfect for these hot summer days. Now, there are many versions of gazpacho soup out there. We’re not about to say ours is the “right” one, but it’s the one that we love best. Enjoy!
- 4 medium tomatoes (combination of red, orange, and yellow), cut into quarters
- 1/2 sweet yellow onion, roughly chopped
- 1 English cucumber, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 yellow bell pepper, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup cilantro (organic)
- 1/2 large mango, roughly chopped
- sea salt and cracked black pepper, to taste
- juice of 1 lemon
- (You can make this a more complete meal by adding some shrimp or crab, whose sweetness complements the soup nicely.)
- Throw all ingredients into a food processor and pulse until desired consistency. Some like it chunkier, while others like it smoother.
- Taste and adjust seasoning, adding more salt, pepper, or leon juice to your desired preference.
- Garnish with some chunks of avocado.