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Olive Garden Gazpacho Italiano

Soup Base
28 ounces canned Italian plum tomatoes
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup very finely-chopped mixed herbs
1/2 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup diced white or red onion
3 cups chicken broth
3/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1 teaspoon sugar (optional)

Pasta and Vegetables
1/2 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup peeled, finely chopped cucumber
1 cup tomato, cut in 1/4-inch dice
1/2 cup ditalini or tubetti, cooked, rinsed and drained

Freshly-grated Parmesan cheese
Chopped fresh parsley

This soup should be served cold at 35 to 45 degrees F. The vegetable and pasta solids should not be added to the base until time of serving or they may become soggy.

Soup Base: Process tomatoes, juice, garlic and herbs. Mix in a non-aluminum bowl with olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, salt, onion, stock, Tabasco and sugar. Place in fridge allowing 4 hours for soup base to chill and marryflavors.

Prepare the vegetables and chill along with the pasta.

To serve: Soup bowls should be very cold. Stir the base well and ladle 6 ounces of soup per bowl. Add a good tablespoon of blended vegetables and 2 tablespoons of pasta to each bowl. Garnish with a few croutons and sprinkle the croutons with Parmesan and chopped parsley.

Yields 6 servings.