Barb's best gazpacho

Yield: 6 servings

Measure Ingredient
2 \N Garlic cloves, chopped
5 \N Juicy medium tomatoes
5 \N Roma tomatoes, ripe
2 mediums Cucumbers, English, peeled, cut in 1-in pieces
1 large Spanish or red onion
1 large Green bell pepper, cored, seeded and ribbed
1 large Red bell pepper, cored, seeded and deribbed
2 cups Tomato juice, or vegetable juice cocktail
¼ cup Olive oil, extra virgin
¼ cup Red wine vinegar
½ cup Vodka or vermouth (OPTIONAL)
2 tablespoons Lime juice, fresh
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 \N Glubs Tabasco sauce, or to taste
¼ teaspoon Cayenne pepper, or to taste
1 tablespoon Celery salt, or to taste
\N \N Freshly ground pepper
2 \N Inner ribs celery, very finely diced

Number of Servings: 6

homemade garlic croutons (optional) Core the 5 medium tomatoes and coarsely chop them. Whiz the garlic in a blender or food processor, add the tomatoes and puree until smooth. Strain the puree into a large non-reactive bowl.

Coarsely chop 1 of the cucumbers, ½ of the onion, and ½ of the green and red bell peppers. Add the chopped vegetables to the processor (if using a blender, add ½ cup of the tomato or vegetable juice as well). Process until liquified; strain into the large bowl, pressing down with the back of a spoon to extract all liquid.

Add to the bowl the remaining juice, olive oil, red wine vinegar, vodka or vermouth if using, lime juice, worcestershire, Tabasco, cayenne pepper, celery salt and pepper. Stir well. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.

Finely dice the Roma tomatoes, remaining ½ onion, ½ green and red peppers and 1 cucumber. Add the finly diced celery. Reserve, refrigerated in small mixing bowl.

To serve, ladle soup into chilled individual bowls. Sprinkle with the chopped vegetables and croutons, if using.

Note: If this is just for the family, I toss all of the diced vegetables right into the soup as it's chilling (it doesn't last long enough for the veggies to get limp). And I might go to the trouble of making croutons, or maybe not.

Posted by Barb Burgess. Courtesy of Fred Peters.

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