Garden Gazpacho

Cold soup in hot weather is perfect for a light lunch or served with pasta salads for supper.  Of all the gifts my garden provides, having fresh herbs and vegetables to gather just before preparing them is one of the best.  Gazpacho is made as many different ways as there are cooks, and I have tried a number of them, but my favorite is this one, combining all the flavor and crunch of our summer harvest.  I make a big bowl of this and store it covered in the refrigerator to ladle out as long as it lasts (usually not very long)!  The receipe is adapted from a Sheila Lukins recipe called Farmstand Gazpacho. There are slight ingredient variations, but the main difference is that the Lukins recipe is placed in the blender and pureed. We like ours crunchy!

Garden Gazpacho

Makes 8 servings

2 cups diced cucumber (peel if skin is thick)
 2 cups diced  bell pepper
 2 cups diced ripe tomato
 1/2 cup diced red onion
2 cups tomato juice (or V8 if you prefer)
 1/2 cup red-wine vinegar
 1/3 cup  olive oil
several dashes Tabasco sauce
a pinch of sea salt, and ground pepper
fresh basil for garnish

1. Place all of the diced vegetables in a large bowl. Add the tomato juice, vinegar, oil, and Tabasco. Season with salt and pepper.

Refrigerate for several hours before serving.  I like to serve in chilled stemmed glasses with mint or basil as a garnish. A dollop of sour cream is optional.

Per serving: 122 calories, 9g fat (1g saturated), 0mg cholesterol, 179mg sodium, 8g carbohydrates, 2g fiber, 2g protein

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