Monday, July 4, 2011


As I was driving the kids to school one day, we were behind a camion citerne (tanker) and everytime we are behind one, we play this game of trying to guess what it is inside the tank. I started that game a long time ago, trying to keep my children quiet in the car:  it was also a way to make them aware of how things move from point A to point B depending on their physical form.
Since we have played this game many times now (too many trucks on the Philadelphia highways!!), my daughter knows and start with the usual "orange juice, olive oil, water,". Picking up the game, my son started to say "apple juice, milk"... and then "beer". I started laughing! Soon enough he and his sister were saying "white wine, red wine, pisco!" We all started laughing...I felt that a stranger listening to this conversation could have thought that my husband and I are such heavy drinkers that our kids know all the names of the beverages we drink!! Yes, they tried a drop of Champagne at their christening; yes, they tried a drop of beer and wine; but no, we are not heavy drinkers! We just happen to enjoy a drink here and there (especially on our Friday aperitifs) and my kids just happen to be great observers...

Since it's hot these days, here is a cool non-alcoholic soup for you and your family. My children enjoy eating this gazpacho because they really get to chose the toppings they can eat it with! Worth the extra time to chop extra veggies to put on the table... Bon Appetit!

PS: And for those of you who had never had Pisco (a drink originally from Peru but which we discovered in Chile), here is a NY Times article I recently came across! We generally drink it with just lime, crushed ice and powdered sugar... but who knows, in a few years, my kids might add a few cocktail names to their "tanker list!"
- 2 large cans of whole peeled tomatoes (good quality)
- 2 fresh tomatoes, skin remove
- 1 cucumber
- 1 red onion
- 1 clove garlic

For garnish:
- Bell peppers
- Onion
- Croutons
- Cilantro/basil/chive
- Cucumber
- Tabasco
- Salt, black pepper

  • In a bowl, blend the canned tomatoes (including liquid), the fresh tomatoes, cucumber, 1/2 onion and garlic. 
  • Chill for a few hours
  • Serve cold.
My Personal Comments:
  • If I am able to plan ahead, I refrigerate the canned tomatoes overnight so that they are already chilled when I blend them with the other ingredients.
  • If can not plan, put the bowl in an ice-bath while refrigerating it. 
  • To peel the fresh tomatoes, drop them for 30s in simmering water.


  1. if you use canned tomatoes, will the soup become very salty? can you use blanched fresh tomatoes instead?


  2. I have never experienced the soup being very salty when I use good canned tomatoes. I'd love to be able to use fresh blanched tomatoes but then it makes it a very expensive soup (unless you grow your own tomatoes and have so many you don't know what to do with them). Ideally, you'll find a local farmer with tomatoes that don't look good enough to be sold for salads but great for soups/sauce.