Creamy Gazpacho

Serves 6.

Note: Refreshing and light, this soup is the perfect antidote to a hot, steamy summer day. From Meredith Deeds.

• 1 slice (3 oz.) country-style bread, about 1 in. thick, crusts removed

• 2 lb. very ripe tomatoes, seeded and coarsely chopped

• 1/2 c. water

• 1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped

• 1/4 c. chopped red onion

• 1 garlic clove, peeled and chopped

• 1/3 c. plus 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided

• 2 tbsp. sherry vinegar

• 3/4 tsp. salt, divided

• 2 c. (1/2-inch) cubes whole-grain bread

Directions

Place bread in a blender. Cut tomatoes in half and squeeze the juice out over the bread. Pour 1/2 cup water over the bread and let sit for 10 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, cucumber, onion, garlic, 1/3 cup olive oil, vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon salt to the blender. Purée until very smooth.

Push purée through a coarse sieve.

Chill gazpacho in refrigerator for at least 2 hours. If the gazpacho is too thick, add water, a tablespoon at a time, until you reach the desired consistency.

While the gazpacho is chilling, preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a large baking sheet, toss cubed bread with 1 tablespoon oil and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Spread in 1 layer and bake until crisp, about 10 minutes. Cool croutons in pan on a rack.

Serve chilled soup in individual glasses or in soup bowls and garnish with croutons.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 220 Fat 15 g Sodium 420 mg

Carbohydrates 18 g Saturated fat 2 g Total sugars 6 g

Protein 4 g Cholesterol 0 mg Dietary fiber 3 g

Exchanges per serving: 1 vegetable, 1 starch, 3 fat.