Preheat oven to 450 degrees F and set red pepper directly on the rack. Roast for about 25 minutes, until slightly blackened and charred. Remove from oven, set in a large bowl, and cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let sit about 5 minutes, until skin is loose, then remove skin, stem, and seeds.
Put all of your gazpacho ingredients into a food processor. Process until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. Add salt and pepper to suit your taste (though it shouldn’t need much).
Pour gazpacho through a wire mesh sieve to remove seeds and fibers. Place in the refrigerator to chill while you make the croutons.
In a large saute pan, bring 2 Tbsp olive oil to medium/high heat. When hot, add bread, garlic (crushed but still intact), and thyme (on the stem). Cook for about 5 minutes, until bread is golden brown and crispy. Remove garlic and thyme.
To serve, pour gazpacho into 2 or 3 serving bowls. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic, sprinkle with thyme leaves, and top with croutons. (You can also garnish with basil leaves and avocado cubes!)