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Spicy Gazpacho

Serrano chilies add a kick to this traditional Spanish soup, which is quick to prepare in a food processor or blender.

Ingredients:

  • 8 plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, halved, seeded and chopped
  • 1 small red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 2 serrano chilies, seeded
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups tomato juice, chilled
  • 2 Tbs. red wine vinegar
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups croutons

Directions:

Make the soup
In a food processor or blender, combine half of the tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper and onion with all of the chilies and garlic. Process to a coarse paste. Add half of the cilantro and all of the olive oil, tomato juice and vinegar and process to a smooth puree. Season with salt and pepper.

Garnish the soup
Serve immediately or, for a chilled soup, transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.

Ladle the soup into individual bowls. Garnish with the remaining tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper, onion and cilantro and the croutons and serve. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Soup, by Georgeanne Brennan (Oxmoor House, 2006).