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Simply Great Gazpacho

Technically, gazpacho is a soup, but John Klein, executive chef at the Grand Concourse, opts for "liquid salad -- summery and refreshing." Its incendiary color would light up any table.

1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced into 1/4-inch cubes
1/2 green pepper, finely diced
1 piece canned pimento, finely diced
12 large Spanish onions, finely diced
3 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh basil, finely chopped
1 large clove garlic, minced
6 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped
1 cup good quality bottled Italian dressing
1 cup tomato juice
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

In a large bowl, combine cucumber, green pepper, pimento, onion, parsley, basil and garlic. Mix in Italian dressing.

Add tomatoes and tomato juice, mixing in thoroughly. Season mixture to taste.

Chill for several hours before serving. To serve, ladle chilled soup into bowls or stemmed glasses. Garnish with sour cream, fresh watercress and a cucumber spear. Serves 6.

"The Simply Great Cookbook," compiled by Chuck Muer

Thursday, July 22, 1999

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