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Yellow-Pepper Gazpacho

This robust version is full of yellow peppers, cucumbers, red onions, ripe tomatoes, and thinly sliced avocado. It may be topped with unsweetened whipped cream or plain yogurt

4 medium yellow bell peppers, seeded, deveined, and finely chopped

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2 medium cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and coarsely chopped

1 medium red onion, peeled and coarsely chopped

2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

4 large ripe tomatoes, cored and cut into wedges

2 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade

1/3 cup balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons capers, drained

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Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted, and thinly

sliced, for garnish

Place all the ingredients except the avocado in a large bowl and stir to mix well.

Pure half of the mixture in a blender or food processor fitted with a steel blade. This may have to be done in batches.

Return the pure to the bowl and mix well. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

To serve, stir, ladle into chilled soup mugs, and top each serving with avocado slices.

Serves 6.

- From 'Picnics,' by Barbara Scott Goodman, Chronicle Books

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society