- Using about a half-loaf of French or Italian bread, tear into chunks and whir in blender or food processor.
- Put the bread crumbs in a large nonmetallic bowl.
- Add the chilled chicken broth. Mix. Set in freezer.
- Meanwhile, cut the prepared vegetables into chunks and pulse in blender until nearly smooth; there is no need to peel the tomatoes, unless they are so ripe the skin comes off with a knife.
- Work in batches and empty the puréed vegetables into another bowl.
- Mixture should not be completely smooth, but retain some texture.
- Remove the bread mixture from freezer and process until smooth.
- Stir in puréed vegetables, tomato juice, vinegar, olive oil, salt and hot sauce to taste.
- Cover with plastic wrap and chill at least 2 hours, up to 8 hours.
- Ladle into into individual bowls, sprinkle with croutons or garnish with chopped vegetables.
Note: Add a dollop of sour cream to each bowl, or make your own crema (see Incomparable Crema).
Prep time: 35-40 Min; Cooking time: 0 Min; Total time: 2 Hrs 35-40 Min
Recipe editor Patricia Mitchell