Gazpacho - cold for the hot weather

Gazpacho is always served cold, so it is a most refreshing soup for the coming hot days. This recipe is particularly simple, as it uses canned tomato juice, rather than having to process tomatoes in the blender. You will still need a blender to prepare this soup, but do not over blend. The soup should have a thick consistency. You can also substitute red and yellow bell peppers for green if you wish.

Ingredients                  Serves 4
Tomato juice                             1 liter
Cucumber peeled and chopped          1
Green bell pepper cored and chopped 1
Onion chopped                                 1
Garlic                                    2 cloves
Olive oil                                2 tbspns
Vinegar white                        4 tbspns

Cooking Method

Using the blender, first chop up the garlic, then add the cucumber and bell peppers (capsicum), adding tomato juice as needed to liquefy. Finally add the rest of the juice. If you want elegance, press through a sieve. If you're going for heartiness, just leave it the way it is. Mix in the olive oil and vinegar. Now refrigerate overnight.

When ready to serve, pour into bowls and garnish with salad vegetables as you see fit: minced or notched and sliced cucumber; thin green bell pepper slices; chopped coriander and croutons.

Tomato Prawn

This is a typical stir-fry, and the secret is to cook everything quickly and lightly. Prawns in particular do not do well when overcooked. Be sure to mix the corn flour thoroughly so no lumps are left. Some chefs will add the tomato into the final stir-fry, but I believe it is better to leave out and arrange the fresh tomato around the prawns and sauce just before serving.

Ingredients             Serves 4
Shelled de-veined prawn     300 gm
Tomatoes (quartered)          4 large
Ginger, finely chopped       1 tbspn
Tomato ketchup              2 tbspns
Corn flour                         1 tbspn
Water                             4 tbspns
Garlic, finely chopped          1 tspn
Shallot, finely chopped     2 tbspns
Rice wine or Sherry           1 tbspn
Chilli sauce                       1 tbspn
Sunflower oil                    4 tbspns

Cooking Method

In a bowl place the ketchup and corn flour, adding the water and stirring until smooth.
Heat the oil in the wok and when hot add the ginger, garlic and shallot and quickly stir-fry. After one minute add the prawns and continue quick stir-frying for another two minutes.

Reduce the heat and add the rice wine or sherry, the chilli sauce and the ketchup and corn flour mixture, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens.
Place on a large platter with the tomato quarters arranged around the outside. Serve with steamed rice.