This is mostly a combination of two Food Network recipes, one from Alton Brown at http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/gazpacho-recipe.html, and one from Ina Garten at http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/gazpacho-recipe.html
- 1 medium cucumber, peeled
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded
- 1 green bell pepper, seeded
- 1 small red onion
- 4 large plum tomatoes
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 small jalapeño pepper, completely seeded (optional)
- 23-24 oz (3 cups) tomato juice
- 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1-2 limes, juiced
- 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
- 2 Tablespoons fresh basil, cut in a chiffonade
- Croutons (optional)
Note: soaking the onions in ice water for 20-30 minutes will decrease the "bite," keep the crispiness, and leave in all the great flavor.
Roughly chop all the veggies into 1-inch chunks, and chop them, one by one, in a food processor. Be careful not to over-process them--we want a small dice, not mush. Place them in a large bowl.
Add the tomato juice, vinegar, olive oil. Mix well.
Add the pepper, salt, and cumin, lime juice, and Worcestershire. Mix well.
Optional: transfer 1-1/2 cups of the soup back to the food processor and puree, then return the mixture to the bowl, stirring to combine. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours--overnight is better, giving the flavors a chance to meld.
Make a chiffonade for fresh basil leaves by rolling each leaf tightly toward the tip, then slicing in thin strips that will be slightly curly.
Serve the soup topped with the basil and add croutons if desired.