Gazpacho best when icy cold

There are those who look forward to the first sweet corn of the summer season , and others who long for ripe, native tomatoes to use in making the cold tomato soup known as gazpacho.

The people of Seville, Spain, take credit for its origin, and there it was originally ground in a mortar and pestle and kept cool in clay bowls in caves in the hills.

Today, the blender is used all over Spain as well as in so many other countries. The basic soup is made with tomatoes, garlic, oil, and vinegar, with variations and additions from various regions.

Sweet peppers, cucumbers, and pimentos are sometimes added, and often shrimp or diced chorizo sausage or chopped eggs.

It can also be served hot but is best when icy cold.

Gazpacho Andaluz (Cold Tomato Soup) 2 large ripe tomatoes 1 large sweet green pepper 1 large cucumber 1 clove garlic, minced 1 peeled, sliced sweet onion 2 tablespoons olive oil 3 tablespoons lemon or lime juice 2 cups tomato or vegetable juice 1/8 teaspoon pepper Salt to taste 1/2 cup fresh herbs: chives, parsley, basil 1 cup bread crumbs (optional)

Peel, seed, and chop vegetables and combine. Put aside about a tablespoon of chopped vegetables for each bowl as a garnish when serving.

Put half the vegetables in blender or processor and puree, but not too fine. Repeat with remaining vegetables.

In large bowl, combine puree, oil, juices, salt, pepper, and herbs. Add bread crumbs, if desired, depending on the ripeness and liquid of the tomatoes.

Chill 2 hours or more. To serve, place an ice cube in each bowl, add soup, then top with a tablespoon of coarsely chopped vegetables.

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