Basic Red Gazpacho

         Yield: 6 Servings
Categories: Soups, Main Dishes, Vegan, Spanish

3 lb Ripe tomatoes, roughly -chopped 1 Red or yellow bell pepper, -seeded, stemmed, and -roughly chopped. DO NOT USE -GREEN BELL PEPPER! 2 Pickling (Kirby) cucumbers, -peeled and roughly chopped 4 Slices good stale white -bread, crusts removed 6 c Cold water 1 lg Or 2 sm cloves garlic, -peeled 1/4 c Sherry or good wine vinegar, -or to taste 1/2 c Olive oil Salt and freshly ground -black pepper to taste Garlic croutons, if desired -for garnish Mince a bit of the tomato, pepper, and cucumber for garnish, and set aside. Soak bread in a cup of the water for 5 minutes, then squeeze out excess water. Place bread in a blender or food processor with the remaining tomato, pepper, cucumber and water, garlic and vinegar; process until smooth, then add olive oil slowly with machine running. Season to taste with salt and pepper and refrigerate until ready to serve. Before serving, check seasoning again, and garnish with reserved tomato, pepper, cucumber, and garlic croutons.