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.