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This is a soup made for summer, and making it has always marked the last week of June. Here in Los Angeles, that is typically the week that the June gloom burns off and the electric meters spin blurringly fast as the temperatures reach 100F+.

6 large ripe tomatoes, cored and chopped - I leave the peel on.
1 large red onion, chopped
1 or 2 cucumbers, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 large red bell pepper, seeded and chopped - I like to roast mine.
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
2 Tbsp  green onions, chopped
5 cloves garlic, chopped - can be roasted if you prefer.
Fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
4 cups chicken stock or plain tomato juice
Hot sauce to taste - I use plain Tabasco
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste - I put it on the table so everyone can do their own.

Combine all vegetable ingredients in a non-reactive bowl and toss with just enough lemon juice to coat.

Combine the red wine vinegar, the olive oil, the chicken stock./tomato juice in a blender, adding the vegetables a little at a time, pulsing just enough to have the vegetables just a bit chunky.

Leave in the fridge overnight to allow the flavors to blend.

Serve with bread, sliced cold ham, and cheese.

A good red wine or a cold beer is the perfect chaser, but tonight I am going to try this with a rose sangria.

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