Fast and fresh gazpacho

    serves 4 to 6

    If you prefer your gazpacho more on the spicy side, begin with a spicy tomato-vegetable juice, such as Spicy Hot V8, or serve with the Tabasco bottle handy, so hot-food lovers can spice the soup to their own taste. (Note: Since this soup benefits from chilling and sitting, it’s best to make it several hours ahead of when you need it.)
    3 large ripe tomatoes, coarsely chopped

    2 English cucumbers, halved, seeded, and


    1 bunch scallions, coarsely chopped

    2 cloves garlic, minced

    1 red or yellow bell pepper, chopped

    2 tablespoons minced celery

    1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

    ½ teaspoon salt

    ¼ teaspoon Tabasco, or to taste

    4 cups blended vegetable juice

    (such as V8)

    ¼ cup minced fresh parsley

    In a food processor, combine two-thirds of the chopped tomatoes, one-half of the chopped cucumbers, the scallions, and the garlic and process until smooth.

    Transfer the vegetable puree to a large bowl and add the bell pepper and the remaining cucumber and tomato. Stir in the celery, vinegar, salt, and Tabasco. Stir in the vegetable juice and 2 tablespoons of the parsley.

    Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 2 hours to chill and blend the flavors. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Serve the soup chilled and garnished with the remaining 2 tablespoons parsley.