Fiery looking in a bowl but cool on a spoon, gazpacho is a hot-weather dish from Spain. Although traditional, there's nothing old-fashioned about this refreshing half salad/half soup that's make-ahead, low in fat and high in garden-fresh flavour. Whether it's peppered-up Fire and Ice, the milder classic version or any of the herb variations, a bowl of this chunky soup makes an easy beginning to summer meal or satisfying weeknight supper.
- Portion size 8 servings
- Credits : Canadian Living 1992
Halve tomatoes; scoop out seeds. Grip chef's knife with fingers meeting thumb underneath. With knife tip stationary and palm of other hand on top, coarsely chop 2 tomatoes, red pepper, half of green pepper and half of cucumber; set remaining vegetables aside.
In food processor, or in blender in batches, puree chopped tomatoes, sweet peppers, cucumber, garlic, vinegar and oil until smooth. Transfer to large bowl; stir in vegetable cocktail and hot pepper sauce.
Slice thin strip off remaining slice of cucumber to form flat base. With knife tip at end, cut cucumber lengthwise into 1/4-inch (5 mm) thick slices.
Stacking slices, cut into 1/4-inch (5 mm) stripes; cut cross-wise into 1/4-inch (5 mm) dice. Flat side down, slice and dice remaining tomato as for cucumber. Dice remaining green pepper.
Refrigerate 1/4 cup (50 mL) each cucumber and pepper. Add remaining vegetables to soup; refrigerate until chilled, at least two or up to 12 hours. Thin with more vegetable cocktail if desired. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Garnish: Combine oil and garlic; brush over bread. Cut into 1/2-inch (1 cm) cubes; bake on baking sheet in 350F (180C) oven for ten to 15 minutes or until golden, stirring once. Serve gazpacho in chilled bowls; sprinkle with reserved chopped cucumber and green pepper, croutons and green onions.