Potluck Gazpacho with Avocado

Hurray for the potluck! Before I moved to the US 4 years ago, I had never heard of a potluck. The concept of everyone bringing food to an event or party has lately become more popular in The Netherlands as well, but it is not yet as incorporated as here. Well, I love it. A barbecue, party, or even a picnic has never been so easy. No more party stress whatsoever. This gazpacho is one of my favorite summer potluck recipes. This easy no-cook soup is made within 15 minutes. Cool it in the fridge, pour it in a large thermos can cooler and off you go. For potlucks I always make a batch for 4-6 persons, and after I’ve arrived at the party I pour it in small aperitif glasses. No need to bring more, because usually there is plenty of food at a potluck.

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potluck gazpacho avocado-0336

Makes 12-16 small glasses
Action time: 15 minutes, plus cooling

75 g good quality bread, sliced
2 garlic cloves
1 small onion, roughly chopped
1 red pepper, stalks and seed removed, in pieces
1 cucumber, peeled and sliced
1 14-oz (400 g) can of tomatoes with juice
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
3 tbsp olive oil
pinch of cayenne pepper
1 ripe avocado
some flat leaf parsley leaves, chopped (optional)

Extra: blender, thermos can cooler, 12-16 small glasses

1. Put the bread in a shallow dish and cover with cold water. Let soak until the crusts are soft. Squeeze the bread lightly and put it together with the garlic, onion,pepper, cucumber, tomatoes and 300-400 ml ice cold water in a blender, and purée everything (if your blender is not big enough, purée the ingredients in two batches).

2. Add the vinegar, oil, cayenne, and some salt and let the machine run for one more minute. Taste, and adjust the seasoning, if needed. Chill the gazpacho for 2-3 hours. If you are in a hurry, put the gazpacho for 1 hour in the freezer.

3. Pour the gazpacho in a thermos can cooler. Right before serving, cube the avocado. Pour the soup into little glasses and garnish with the avocado and parsley if you like.

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