- 5 large tomatoes, peeled and chopped
- 1 1/2 cups chopped, peeled hothouse cucumber
- 1 large red bell pepper, chopped
- 2 ribs celery, chopped
- 1 small white onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3/4 cup reduced-sodium tomato juice
- 1 cup reduced-sodium, fat-free beef broth
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, plus sprigs for garnish
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar (optional)
- 2 dashes tabasco sauce
- ground black pepper
To peel the tomatoes, plunge them one at a time into a saucepan of boiling water, and cook for about 30 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon. Cool, core, and slip off the skins.
Reserve some chopped tomato and cucumber for garnish. In a food processor, in batches, pulse the remaining tomatoes and cucumber with the bell pepper, celery, onion, and garlic to a chunky puree. Add tomato juice as needed to thin the mixture.
Transfer to a large bowl or container, and stir in any remaining tomato juice, the broth, parsley, vinegar (if using), and Tabasco. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours, or until ready to serve.
Ladle into bowls and top with the reserved chopped tomato and cucumber and a sprig of parsley.