Centerpiece becomes 1st course — Garden Gazpacho

     Chilled gazpacho seemed like a great first course soup, but I also needed a low centerpiece for a small dinner party. And, that’s how soup ended up in juice glasses, lined up in the center of our dining room table.
     Since we were drinking the soup, I thinned it with broth but otherwise I just used our garden produce in a soup that did double duty!

Garden Gazpacho
1 cucumber, halved and seeded, but not peeled
2  bell peppers, scored and seeded
4 plum tomatoes
1 onion
3 cloves of garlic, minced
3 cups (23 oz.) tomato juice
¼ cup white vinegar or use red wine vinegar if desired
¼ cup olive oil
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 to 3 teaspoons prepared horseradish
4 to 5 dashes of hot sauce (such as Tabasco®)
½ tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
Chicken, beef or vegetable broth for thinning – start with about ¾ cup and add more as needed
Rimming salt if desired  

1.     Roughly chop the cucumbers, bell peppers, tomatoes, and onions into 1-inch cubes. Put each vegetable separately into a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse until it is coarsely chopped. Do not overprocess!

2.     After each vegetable is processed, combine them in a large bowl and add the garlic, tomato juice, vinegar, olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, horseradish, hot sauce, salt, and pepper. Mix well, adding broth if needed to thin the soup.

3.     Chill before serving. The longer gazpacho sits, the more the flavors develop.
4.     If desired, rim glasses with prepared salt and fill with soup for drinking, or serve in a small cup with a spoon.

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