Gazpacho

A classic Spanish soup, cold Gazpacho makes a refreshing summer lunch served with croutons, small bowls of chopped olives, cucumbers, hard-boiled eggs and onion. Each guest then sprinkles his soup with a little of these accompaniments. It is easiest to make this soup with an electric blender.

3 slices of brown bread, cut into

1-inch cubes

10 fl. oz. canned tomato juice

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

½ cucumber, peeled and finely chopped

1 green pepper, white pith removed, seeded and finely chopped

1 red pepper, white pith removed, seeded and finely chopped

1 large onion, finely chopped

1 ½ lb. tomatoes, blanched, peeled. seeded and chopped

3 fl. oz. olive oil

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

½ teaspoon dried marjoram

½ teaspoon dried basil

4 ice cubes (optional)

Place the bread cubes in a medium-sized mixing bowl and pour over the tomato juice. Leave the bread cubes to soak for 5 minutes, then squeeze them to extract the excess juice. Transfer them to a large mixing bowl. Reserve the tomato juice.

Add the garlic, cucumber, peppers, onion and tomatoes to the soaked bread cubes and stir to mix. Puree the ingredients by pounding them in a mortar with a pestle to a paste and then rubbing them through a strainer, or by putting them through a food mill. Stir in the reserved tomato juice. If you are using a blender, puree the vegetables and bread cubes with the reserved tomato juice.

Add the oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, marjoram and basil to the puree and stir well. The soup should be the consistency of single cream, so add more tomato juice if necessary.

Turn the soup into a deep serving bowl and place it in the refrigerator to chill for at least 1 hour. Just before serving, stir the soup well and drop in the ice cubes.

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