Tuesday, September 6, 2011


I think with age I am becoming a softie at heart.  I have no idea – at least I like to attribute it to age as I have no other explanation.  I have been reading and watching this documentary about the Westboro Baptist Church or WBC and the Phelps family which is also termed as the “most hated family in America” by the famous Louis Theroux.  But you might ask, “What would someone have to do to be labeled like this?”  Well, besides picketing funerals of dead soldiers and very vociferously proclaiming that we are all going to burn in hell and the followers of the WBC would be the only ones saved by God, they have a lot of other beliefs I’d rather not talk about.  Almost everyone coming across them hates them and what they loudly proclaim to be the truth. 

I was watching these little children between the ages of 6 and above who were holding banners letting everyone else on the road know how much God hated humanity.  The hate in the eyes of the grown-ups was scary and what they have brainwashed the children to believe it wrong.  And then I suddenly wanted to be on the streets on Kansas and wanted to go up to these people and hug them.  Not hug them for their wrong ideals and beliefs, but just to let them know that love does exist in this world.  Why did they preach hatred when there was so much love to give?  I could not do much being so far away in Belgium and besides even if I was on the streets of Kansas, I doubt they would have let us “sinners” close to them.  So the best thing I could do was to pray for them – pray that they see the love that exists in this world.  See that human beings, with all their imperfections, are still a creation of God.  What else can one do in such instances?

Preparation Time: 20  minutes
Serves 4


2 slices day-old bread
2 ½ cups chilled water
1 kilo tomatoes
1 cucumber
1 zucchini
1 red pepper, seeded and chopped
1 fresh green chili, seeded and chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon Tabasco sauce
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
8 ice cubes
A handful of basil leaves to garnish

  1. Soak the bread in 2/3rd cup of chilled water for 5 minutes.  
  2. Place the tomatoes in a bowl and cover with boiling water.  Leave for 10 minutes, then peel, seed and chop the flesh.  
  3. Thinly peel the cucumber, then cut it in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds with a teaspoon.  Discard the seeds and chop the flesh.  
  4. Place the bread (with any free liquid) in a food processor or blender.  
  5. Add the tomatoes, cucumber, zucchini, red pepper, chili, garlic, olive oil, citrus juices and the Tabasco and then pour in the remaining chilled water.  Blend until well combined but still chunky.  
  6. Season to taste and pour into a bowl and chill in the refrigerator for 3 hours.  
  7. Ladle the soup into chilled bowls, add the ice cubes and garnish with basil leaves.

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