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Traditional Andalusian Gazpacho

For the Soup:
3 slices day-old white bread, crusts removed, cubed
1 cup cold water
3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1 green pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into chunks
4-8 ripe red tomatoes, peeled and seeded*
6 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
5 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
Dash of sugar

• Soak the bread in the water and remove, squeezing out as much water as you can. Purée in a blender with the garlic, pepper, tomatoes, vinegar, and olive oil. Add the salt, pepper, and sugar. If too thick, add water. Chill for 2 hours or overnight.

For the Croutons:
2 slices day-old bread, cubed
3-4 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

• Toss the bread with the olive oil and sprinkle with the salt and pepper.
• Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 400°F for 10 minutes, until golden, tossing halfway through. Remove to a serving bowl.

To Assemble:
1 tomato, seeded and diced
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
1 small onion, peeled, seeded, and diced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
1/4 cup sliced Manzanilla olives
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

• Place each of the vegetables and the basil in separate serving bowls. Serve with the soup and croutons.

*Note: To peel the tomatoes, place them in boiling water for 1 minute. Remove and carefully cut an “x” into the skin, then peel.

Makes 6 servings