Updated 09/06/2011 05:00 AM
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2 1-inch thick slices day or two old Italian bread (or 4-5 slices day or two old baguette)
Approx. 1/4 -1/3 cup water or tomato juice for soaking sliced bread
3 large ripe tomatoes, cored, skinned and deseeded
1 large clove garlic, peeled and crushed
1 large bell pepper, deseeded and rough chopped
1 medium cucumber, peeled, deseeded and rough chopped
1/4 medium red onion
Approx. 1 cup parsley leaves
3 Tbs sherry vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
diced ripe avocado for garnish (optional)
toasted salted sliced almonds for garnish (optional)
Soak the sliced day old bread with a little water or even a little tomato juice if you have some on hand.
Core the tomatoes and carefully add them to a large pot of boiling water, for 30 seconds or so, then transfer those to an ice water bath to stop the cooking.
Next, peel the skins off, cut the tomatoes in half through the circumference, gently squeeze them to remove the seeds (see hints below) and add them to the bowl of a food processor.
Then add 1 crushed clove of garlic and sliced bread to the food processor and puree those first.
Add the tomato puree to a large mixing bowl and then add 1 large, deseeded chopped pepper to the processor, add 1 medium peeled, deseeded and chopped cucumber, add 1/4 peeled medium red onion and a handful of parsley leaves and puree that as well.
Add that mixture to the bowl with the tomatoes, then add 3-4 Tbs sherry vinegar (or red wine vinegar) and add 4-6 Tbs olive oil and salt and pepper to taste and mix it up.
Put it into a tightly sealed container and chill it in the fridge until it is nice and cold.
Serve it up in individual bowls with an optional garnish of diced avocados and toasted, salted almonds if you like.
Squeeze the sliced tomatoes into a mesh strainer over a bowl and add the seedless reserved juice to the gazpacho. To toast the sliced almonds, add 1-2 tsp oil to sauté pan on medium heat. Add 1/3 – 1/2 cup sliced almonds and toss as the brown up a bit. Season with salt to taste and take out of the pan to cool.