Unlike pie, with its revolving rainbow of seasonal flavors, gazpacho doesn't seem like a fill-in-the-blank situation. To most of us, it spells one thing: tomatoes, cold, smooth, and punchy. But in truth, anything can be a gazpacho. It's just not fair that we should have to wait till the tomatoes roll around -- that's where the strawberries come in. Recipe adapted very slightly from Eleven Madison Park: The Cookbook. —Genius Recipes
To make the soup: Heat a small saute pan over medium-high heat. Coat the bottom with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and add 1 clove of garlic. When the garlic begins to sizzle, add the bread cubes. Toss occasionally until the bread begins to color, being careful not to burn. Add the thyme and continue to toss until the bread is golden brown. Transfer the bread to a large bowl. Discard the garlic and thyme.
Add the strawberries, cucumber, peppers, remaining garlic clove, remaining 1/2 cup of olive oil, tomato juice, vinegar, and salt to the bowl. Toss to combine and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Marinate at room temperature for 3 to 6 hours. Puree the ingredients and their juices in small batches in a blender on high speed until very smooth. Strain through a chinois and chill in the refrigerator until very cold. Taste and season, if necessary, with Tabasco sauce and additional salt and red wine vinegar.
To make the garlic-thyme croutons for garnish: Heat a small saute pan on medium-high heat. Coat the bottom with the olive oil and add the garlic. When the garlic begins to sizzle, add the diced bread. Toss occasionally until the bread begins to color, being careful not to burn. Add the thyme and continue to toss until the bread is golden brown. Quickly transfer to a baking sheet lined with paper towels. Discard the garlic and thyme and season with the salt. Once cool and dry, you may store in an airtight container lined with paper towels for up to 1 day.
Serve chilled, garnished with garlic-thyme croutons. Tiny basil leaves and a swirl of olive oil make a nice additional garnish.