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KITCHEN SCOOP: Summertime Gazpacho

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Do you yearn for something different for lunch or dinner? Then look no further than Summertime Gazpacho. The complex favor, robust texture and substantial presence will have your mouth and tummy thinking it does.

Seriously, this easy -to-make gazpacho relies on the depth from a low-sodium vegetable juice and then adds a variety of summer’s fresh vegetable bounty for a filling, delicious cold soup that will surely satisfy. It is as difficult as chopping a few cukes, peppers and tomatoes and zapping it all in the food processor. If your juice is already refrigerated, then the soup is ready to serve immediately, if not, then a few hours in the refrigerator does the trick.

I recently served this soup to a group of friends and everyone was surprised at just how satisfied they felt after lunch. Even the few reluctant men were pleasantly pleased at how appetizing and gratifying this classic cold soup really is. So if you are looking for a twist on the same old- same old, give this summer classic a shot.

Summertime Gazpacho

1 small sweet onion, such as Vidalia, peeled
1/2 each yellow, orange and red bell pepper, seeded
2 cloves garlic
3 cups reduced-sodium vegetable juice, such as V-8, refrigerated if possible
1 pound very ripe tomatoes
2 small Kirby cucumbers (about 8 ounces)
1/4 cup red-wine vinegar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce, or more to taste
2 tablespoons panko bread crumbs
Salt and black pepper to taste

1. In a food processor, process the whole onion, half of each bell pepper half (or 1/4 each) and garlic with 1 cup of the vegetable juice. Process on high until vegetables are practically liquid. Pour the mixture into a serving bowl and set aside.

2. Cut the remaining bell pepper quarters into bite-size chunks and add them to the bowl. Core the tomatoes, and cut them into bite-size chunks, adding them to the bowl as you cut. Cut the unpeeled cucumber into bite-size pieces and add them to the bowl.

3. Add the vinegar, oil, Worcestershire, honey, Tabasco and remaining 2 cups of vegetable juice. Stir to mix well.

Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the bowl and stir to mix well. Season with salt and black pepper to taste and adjust Tabasco levels if desired. Serve at once or refrigerate until ready to serve.

© Kitchen Scoop, LLC

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