Yield: 6 cups
- 4 medium tomatoes, peeled and chopped
- 1 large cucumber, peeled and cubed
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 large green pepper, chopped
- 2 (12-ounce) cans tomato juice, divided
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 slices white bread, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
- 1/2 cup chopped chives
- Combine half of each of the tomato, cucumber, onion, and green pepper in a large bowl. Add 1/2 cup tomato juice; mix well. Puree vegetable mixture in blender.
- Place remaining half of vegetables in separate serving bowls; cover and refrigerate.
- Combine pureed vegetables, remaining tomato juice, 1/3 cup olive oil, vinegar, hot sauce, salt, and pepper in a large bowl, mixing well. Cover, and refrigerate at least 3 hours.
- Rub inside of small skillet with halved garlic cloves; reserve garlic. Place 2 tablespoons olive oil in skillet, and sauté bread cubes over medium heat until golden brown. Drain well; place in a small serving dish.
- To serve, mince reserved garlic; stir into chilled soup mixture, and sprinkle with chives. On a tray, arrange chopped vegetables and croutons to be sprinkled over the top of each serving.
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