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Dip into ice-cold gazpacho

Gazpacho has become synonymous with cold soup and you may see any number of ingredients in it, even watermelon. Never potatoes, though. Save those for vichyssoise.

The most familiar version of cold Spanish gazpacho includes small dices or a puree of raw vegetables nestled in tangy tomato broth. The flavors can be simple with canned spicy tomato juice contributing most of the kick. A gazpacho with more depth might include several freshly chopped herbs.

An Andalusian version gives a number of suggestions for garnishes including chopped, hard-boiled eggs, Serrano ham and sliced scallions.

Gazpacho should be served icy cold no matter what recipe you make. That is this liquid salad's true tradition.

Gazpacho

1 garlic clove, crushed

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

5 medium tomatoes, peeled

1 cup low-sodium chicken broth

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

\ teaspoon paprika

1 green or red pepper, chopped

1 cup cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped

\ cup chopped scallions

Combine the garlic, oil, onion, and tomatoes in a food processor and process until smooth. Add the broth, vinegar, hot pepper sauce and paprika; process again. Transfer the mixture to a large soup tureen or bowl.

Add the red or green pepper, cucumber and scallions. Refrigerator overnight. Serve the soup in bowls or large wine glasses. Top with croutons, if desired. Makes four 1{ cups servings.

Source: www.recipesource.com.

White Bean Gazpacho

3 cups tomato juice

1 15-ounce can white beans (navy or cannellini), drained and rinsed

1{ cups diced tomatoes (canned or fresh)

1 cup cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped

1 cup diced green pepper

1 cup chopped green onion

{ cup diced celery

2 teaspoons dried basil

2 tablespoons fresh minced parsley

1 teaspoon dried oregano

2 teaspoons rice vinegar

2 minced garlic cloves

Pinch chili powder

Squeeze lime juice

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except for beans. Stir to combine. Place all ingredients (except beans) in blender to puree. Pour back into large bowl and mix in beans. Season to taste with salt and pepper, if desired. Refrigerate overnight before serving. Serve chilled.

Note: If you want a chunkier gazpacho, do not puree all the chopped veggies.

Source: www.wellness.ucdavis.edu.

Andalusian Gazpacho

4 large garlic cloves

2 teaspoons salt

1 red or green bell pepper, roasted, peeled, and seeded

2 slices week-old French bread with or without crust

2{ pounds very ripe tomatoes, peeled, chopped and passed through a sieve to remove all seeds (save some of the juice to soak the bread in)

6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped

4 tablespoons high quality Spanish sherry vinegar

1 hard-boiled egg yolk

Salt and black pepper

12 ice cubes

Garnishes (choose four or five):

Hard-boiled egg, shelled and finely chopped

Cucumber, peeled, seeded, finely chopped

Scallions, finely chopped

Sweet onion, finely chopped

Finely chopped parsley

Croutons, cut small

Paprika

Serrano ham, chopped

Canned tuna in olive oil

Chopped black olives such as Kalamata

Pine nuts

In a mortar, pound the garlic and salt. Transfer to a food processor and pulse until mushy.

Soak the bread in the juice from the tomatoes and a little water, then squeeze out as if you were making a snowball. Add the bread to the processor and pulse a couple of times until well blended. Add the tomatoes and process for 5 seconds, then pour in the olive oil while running the food processor continuously. Add the cucumber and process some more. Drizzle in the vinegar and add the egg yolk while continuing to process. Season with salt, pepper and cumin, if desired.

Tranfer to a bowl and add the ice cubes. Leave in the refrigerator for several hours before serving, stirring occasionally. Serve with a selection of garnishes when the ice cubes have melted. Makes four servings.

Note: It's important to use quality tomatoes. If you can't find any, use canned, whole peeled tomatoes that have a lot of flavor. You can also substitute prosciutto, Smithfield of Westphalian ham for Serrano.

Source: www.cliffordawright.com

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