A new twist on an old summer favorite from Urth Caffe' Gazpacho. The Basque shepherds reputed to have invented it, call gazpacho "a salad in a cup." So refreshing.Ole'
1-1/2 pounds tomatoes - peeled, seeded, chopped coarsely (4 tomatoes makes about 2 cups)
1-1/2 cups seedless Persian cucumber or any seedless cucumber, chopped coarsely
1 cup diced red onion (about 1/2 a whole)
2 stalks celery, cleaned, chopped coarsely
1/2 cup diced green bell pepper (about 1/4 of a whole)
3 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped
1 cup tomato juice, more to taste
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive
Creole seasoning or sea salt, freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Tabasco sauce, or other hot sauce
1-1/2 teaspoons lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)
1 ripe avocado, diced
1 tablespoon fresh chives or a palm full of minced cilantro
1. In a blender, combine the tomatoes, cucumber, onion, bell pepper, garlic, tomato juice, vinegar and oil. You may need to do this in batches. Puree, then pour into a medium bowl. Puree minimally to keep a little texture to the vegetables if you like.
2. Add lemon juice, Tabasco, salt, freshly ground black pepper and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne or Creole seasoning to taste.
3. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled.
4. Before serving, dice avocado, mince chives or cilantro and stir into the soup. Taste and adjust seasonings.