Gazpacho" is cool, refreshing and flavorful start to a meal on a hot summer day. This soup is eaten often in the southern part of Spain called Andalusia, the region from which is originates. Eat gazpacho from a soup bowl, or drink it from a glass. Either way, it is tasty, refreshing and very healthy, since it is made from nothing but fresh vegetables and a bit of oil and vinegar. During the hot weather, do what the Spaniards do - Make a batch of gazpacho and keep it in a glass pitcher in the refrigerator for whenever you need a cool drink.
1 tsp each of cucumber and green pepper, finely chopped
3-4 croutons (optional)
Soak the bread in a small amount (few tablespoons) of water. Gently remove and “squeeze” dry. Tip: The easiest way to peel tomatoes is to boil water in a medium saucepan. As soon as water boils, turn off heat and place the tomatoes into the hot water for 1 minute. Carefully remove hot tomatoes. The skin will rub off easily. Place the tomatoes, bread, cucumbers, onions, garlic and peppers in a blender. Blend until the mixture is smooth. All the ingredients may not fit at one time, so you may have to fill the blender several times. Once gazpacho is completely blended, pour it into a large non-metallic bowl. Stir in the oil and vinegar. Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix well, cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Garnish with the chopped vegetables and croutons, if desired. Serve gazpacho chilled. Shortcut to Chilling the Soup: Place ice and water in a large bowl or pot and place in sink. Put the bowl or glass blender containing gazpacho into the ice water. Stir the gazpacho to ensure it cools evenly.