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Gazpacho al Estilo de mi Esposo
By Katie Harkrider-Gonzalez

Depending on where you live, a refreshing gazpacho can be enjoyed any time of year, even at Christmas! We live in sunny Los Angeles, so with my husband being Spanish and me loving to eat, we find ourselves busting out the blender to make this year round!

10 (32 ounces) plum tomatoes, quartered
1 medium cucumber, peeled and cut into chunks
1/2 green bell pepper, coarsely chopped
1 clove garlic
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar, or more to taste
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, preferably Spanish
1 to 2 teaspoons salt 

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, preferably Spanish
1 slice rustic white bread
12 cherry tomatoes, halved (or quartered if large)
1 medium cucumber, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
4 pearl onions, quartered and separated into segments
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
Sea salt
4 chives, cut into 1-inch pieces


For the gazpacho: In a blender or food processor, add the tomatoes, cucumber, green bell pepper, garlic, sherry vinegar and water and blend until the mixture becomes a thick liquid. Taste for acidity (this will vary with the sweetness of the tomatoes) and add more vinegar if necessary. Add the oil and salt. Blend again briefly to thoroughly incorporate the oil. Pour through a fine-mesh strainer into a pitcher or large bowl. Cover and refrigerate until cool, at least 30 minutes. For the garnish: Meanwhile, in a small saute pan over medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon of the oil. When it is shimmering, add the bread and cook until golden on both sides, about 2 minutes. Break the bread into small pieces to form about 16 croutons and set aside. To assemble the soup, distribute the croutons, cherry tomatoes, cucumber and onions evenly among the bowls and drizzle with sherry vinegar and the remaining olive oil. Sprinkle with sea salt and chives. At the table, pour the chilled gazpacho over the garnish. Serve immediately.

Yield: Makes 4 main-course servings or 8 first-course servings.