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Gazpacho, a chilled liquid salad, is a Spanish classic for high summer when tomatoes are at their best.  This straight-forward version is adapted from one of my oldest and most well-worn cookbooks, The Time-Life International Cookbook.  It will serve 6 to 8 and needs to be made a few hours before serving to meld and chill.


2 medium cucumbers – peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped

5 medium tomatoes – peeled, and coarsely chopped

1 large onion – coarsely chopped

1 medium bell pepper – seeded and coarsely chopped

5 cloves garlic – finely chopped

4 cups good quality white bread – crusts removed and coarsely crumbled

4 cups cold water

¼ cup red wine vinegar

4 tsp. salt

¼ cup olive oil

1 Tbs. tomato paste

Optional Garnishes

Toasted bread cubes

Finely chopped onions

Sliced scallions

Finely chopped cucumbers

Finely chopped bell peppers

Put the ingredients through the salt in a large bowl.  Ladle the mixture a few cups into a time into a food processor or blender and process until it is a relatively smooth puree.  Put the puree in a bowl, and repeat ladling and processing until all of the mixture is a puree.  Add the olive oil and tomato paste to the puree and stir in.  Put in a non-reactive container in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving.

Serve with the optional garnishes to taste.  In the photo, I used bread cubes and sliced scallions.


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