Lately our weekends have been filled with day trips exploring charming towns, hikes, and visits with friends and family. All of this excitement and time spent out of the house has meant that we are usually eating lunch out, and one of our favorite things to do is find some adorable, delicious local option that makes getting a meal an event in itself.
Local charm aside, these types of restaurants are usually great for kids, and are filled with friendly locals who are happy to wave at a smiling, laughing baby, or laugh themselves at a kid who is having a meltdown and reminisce about when their own kids were losing it over that french fry they can’t have…because it’s on the ground…because they threw it there…and there’s an entire untouched basket of fresh fries on the table…
Another reason these off the beaten path restaurants are my favorite is that they have the most amazing fresh soups, and in the hot summer months that almost always means a cold option. Soup is my favorite part of a meal- hot soup on a cold day, cold soup on a hot day- either way it just hits the spot for me! Despite how much I look forward to homemade soups on a menu, I rarely make soup at home, and when I do it’s generally limited to something that has come from a box or can. Not nearly as satisfying as homemade.
After a particularly inspiring gazpacho, and abundant trip to the farmers market, I decided to try my hand at making gazpacho, and it couldn’t be easier! I started with these 3 recipes and made some adjustments based on what I had. The results were fast, fresh, flavorful, and filling! (How’s that for alliteration!?) To give each a little extra substance I put some chilled lobster and scallops on top of each (I keep uncooked frozen shrimp on hand at all times for quick meals or snacks, and you could use that too). Each soup took only a few minutes to make, and is the perfect meal to make, especially on long, fun-filled days when we would be otherwise tempted to just order a pizza.
I’ve broken down the gazpacho formula to make whipping it up a breeze, and included my favorite recipe below.
- 2 1/2 lbs peaches, halved, pitted, and peeled
- 1/5 lb golden cherry tomatoes
- 1/5 lb cucumber, peeled and seeds removed
- 1/2 jalepeño pepper, seeds and core removed
- 1/4 sweet onion, roughly chopped
- 1 tsp grated garlic
- 2 tbsp grapeseed oil (I used half grapeseed oil and half this Basil Lemongrass Olive Oil)
- 1 tbsp white balsamic vinegar (I used this lemon infused variety, which is good on EVERYTHING!)
- 1/2 – 3/4 c water
Slowly add peaches, tomatoes, and cucumber in blender at slow speed. Once combined, add pepper, onion, and garlic. Continue blending increasing speed gradually until ingredients are coarsely pureed. Slowly add in water until desired consistency has been reached. Drizzle in oil and vinegar and combine. Add salt and pepper to taste, and top with chilled tuna, lobster, crab, or shrimp. Garnish with any leftover peaches.
Do you have any favorite summer recipes? I’d love to hear what they are!