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Summertime in Spain is synonymous with cool, refreshing Gazpacho, a richly flavored tomato-based soup that takes a brief whirl in the blender before arriving at the table. The soup is an old tradition created by Spanish homemakers as a way to use the season's abundant tomato crop and a few crusts of day-old bread. Accompanied with fresh cucumbers, peppers, sweet onions and a nip of garlic, a bowl of this satisfying enzyme-enhanced soup serves as an invigorating light meal or a first course to a full dinner.
1 1/2 C. chopped peeled cucumbers
4 C. chopped tomatoes
1 1/2 C. chopped sweet onions
1/2 C. chopped green bell peppers
2 whole cloves garlic
1 1/2 C. cubed whole grain bread
2 C. water
2 T. red wine vinegar
1 t. salt or to taste
1 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
1 medium sweet onion, chopped
4 slices whole wheat bread, cubed and toasted
2 T. chopped fresh parsley
- In a large bowl, combine the first 10 ingredients. Stir well, and spoon half of the gazpacho mixture into the blender. Blend until smooth and pour into a large bowl. Blend remaining mixture until smooth and add to the bowl. Chill for several hours or serve immediately.
- Put the remaining chopped bell peppers, cucumbers, onions, and toasted bread cubes into separate bowls.
- Spoon gazpacho into serving bowls and garnish with a pinch of parsley. Serve the bowls of bell peppers, cucumbers, onions, and bread cubes at the table and allow the guests to add them as they choose. Makes 7 1/2 cups or 4 to 5 servings.
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