Older recipes for this king of summer soups include bread melded early on with oil, salt and garlic into sort of a cold roux for body. This recipe doesn’t include bread at that juncture, but I like crumbling dry cornbread over the bowl at table.
Mince two or three cloves of garlic very, very finely and mash in the bottom of a glass or enamel bowl with a teaspoon of salt and about a half a cup of olive oil. Add in fine dice one yellow onion, three very ripe summer tomatoes, two peeled cucumbers, two ribs celery (with leaves), and a sweet banana pepper.
I don’t recommend hot peppers; this is a cooling dish, and should be refreshing, not pungent nor heavy; starchy vegetables such as corn or peas seem out of place as well.
Add a teaspoon of powdered cumin, a quarter cup each of chopped fresh basil and parsley, and a teaspoon of ground black pepper. Mix with two cups V8. Refrigerate overnight. An hour before serving, add more V8 to consistency, adjust the salt and pepper, and top with a slosh of olive oil.
Serve in chilled bowls with crusty bread.