Spicy Cucumber Garlic Gazpacho

Here’s a light, refreshing, cold summer soup that will put a smile on everyone’s face.
 
Makes 2 quarts; serves 6
 
Ingredients:
 
2 English cucumbers, peeled and chopped (4 cups chopped) reserving 1/4 cup for garnish
 
1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded, and chopped, reserve 1/4 cup for garnish
 
3 green onions, trimmed and cut 
 
2 jalapeno chiles, stemmed, halved lengthwise, seeded and chopped
 
Small handful Italian parsley, large stems removed
 
2 mint leaves or more
 
2-3 large cloves garlic, peeled and minced
 
1/2 cup chicken stock, water, or vegetable broth, plus additional
 
1/4 cup olive oil
 
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
 
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
 
Optional: Several drops of Tabasco Green Pepper Sauce, to taste
 
1 teaspoon fine sea salt or kosher salt
 
Garnish Options:
 
1/4 cup diced English cucumber (with peel)
 
1/4 cup diced green bell pepper
 
1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
 
Zest of 1 lemon
 
6 small tips of fresh mint leaves
 
Ground pepper
 
Croutons
 
Directions:
 
Put the cucumber, bell pepper, green onions, jalapeno chiles, parsley, mint leaves, and garlic into a blender and liquefy until smooth
 
Add the stock/broth, olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, Tabasco, and salt. Pulse to combine
 
Taste and adjust the balance of salt and lemon juice if needed
 
Adjust the thickness of the soup by adding a little more stock/broth/or water if needed
 
Chill for at least two hours prior to serving
 
Just before serving, pour the soup into individual bowls, and then sprinkle each with a bit of diced cucumber, red and green bell pepper, and lemon zest. Top each serving with a tiny sprig of mint, a few croutons, and sprinkle a little more salt and pepper if you desire
 
You can also server with sliced baguettes or cheese bread to dunk you it into the soup. The Demi Cheese loaf from Albertson’s is out of this world. The garlic cheese croutons from Trader Joe’s are also a huge hit in our family
 

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