This is my favorite way to prepare gazpacho. Use summer tomatoes from the garden of most any variety. Serve in bowls for a sit-down dinner, alternatively serve in mugs with a less formal buffet.
1/4 cup red wine vinegar, or to taste
1 cup low-sodium tomato juice
8-10 fresh tomatoes (roma, beefstake)
1 small red onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 yellow or red bell pepper, seeded and diced
6 english cucumbers, peeled, halved, seeded and diced
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/2 avocado, chopped (optional for garnish)
In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar and tomato juice. Set aside.
In a blender, working in batches, combine the tomatoes, puree until smooth, 30 to 40 seconds. Transfer to a large bowl. Combine the onion, garlic and puree until smooth. Add to the bowl with the tomato puree. In the blender, combine the bell pepper, cucumbers and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add to the bowl with the tomato puree. Whisk in the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, about 2 hours.
Taste the soup and adjust the seasonings with salt. Ladle into chilled bowls. Garnish with chopped avocado or diced cucumber. Serves 6 to 8.