Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Watermelon Gazpacho

When it comes to warm weather fare, there’s isn’t much as refreshing as a bowl of cold soup. It’s a great choice for a light lunch, and an even better introduction to a warm summer night’s dinner. Because it is a seasonal dish, I find that it is best enjoyed “in” the season, al fresco on a patio or deck, or even just with the doors open.

We all know gazpacho; the tomato-based raw vegetable soup is probably one of the most widely recognized and commonly spotted chilled soups on menus. Putting a little bit of a twist on the original, I made a super-summery gazpacho with watermelon. There is no cooking involved and minimal prep, but it feels elegant and tastes gourmet.

After blending a mixture of raw cucumber, red bell pepper, shallots and extra virgin olive oil in a food processor until almost smooth, I stirred in pureed and strained watermelon. Viola—soup! Inspired by the salty/sweet combination of watermelon and feta salad, I added fresh mint, a bit of lime juice and red wine vinegar to season, and added a hefty spoonful of feta cheese for garnish. Watermelon and cucumber are a great compliment to one another (and p.s. they taste way better than they smell as body splash).

For some, cold soup can be kind of weird. We’ve all been conditioned to think that soup is supposed to be hot, so when a spoonful of chilly puree hits our lips our first reaction is to want to send it back. If you’ve never tried it before or have been turned off by cold soup in the past, I think this watermelon gazpacho may be a game changer. Its bright pink color and smooth, tangy flavor is similar to salsa.You'll love how easy it is, and you don't even have to turn on the stove a little bit. It’s perfect for those days when it’s just too hot to chew.

Watermelon Gazpacho
Yield: 4 servings
- 1 cucumber, peeled & seeded, roughly chopped, plus ¼ cup small dice for garnish
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded & roughly chopped, plus ¼ cup small dice for garnish
- ½ shallot, roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- About 10 mint leaves, torn
- 2 cups seedless watermelon, pureed & strained, plus ¼ cup small dice for garnish
- Juice of 1 lime
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Crumbled feta cheese for garnish
1) Add the cucumber, bell pepper, shallot and olive oil to a food processor; pulse until almost smooth. Add the mint leaves; pulse until finely chopped.
2) In a large bowl, mix the pureed vegetable mixture with the strained watermelon puree/juice. Stir in the lime and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
3) Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with small dice cucumber, red bell pepper, and watermelon. Sprinkle the feta cheese on top.

Check out my watermelon gazpacho, featured on Yummly's list of 10 Juicy & Refreshing Watermelon Recipes!

Certified Yummly Recipes on Yummly.com


Joan Nova said...

Looks good. Watermelon seems to be a popular choice for this challenge. I've got one too that will be posted later today.

Aren't these challenges fun?!

http://platanosmangoes.com said...

I like what you did...it does look quite refreshing.....

Faith said...

This looks delicious! I love your twist on gazpacho...bet the watermelon adds so much to the dish!

Shannon said...

i've never been a fan of traditional gazpacho, but adding watermelon might win me over :)

Natasha Price said...

A watermelon gazpacho is a terrific idea, love the addition of feta!

angela@spinachtiger said...

Great idea. You actually could have added tomatoes because I love tomatoes and watermelon together. This is totally the kind of food we should eat more of. Beautiful to look at and good for us.

lostpastremembered said...

I like the crunchy bits in your soup. ONe of my favorite summer dishes is watermelon salad with feta and mint... how great to have it in a bowl. Beautiful soup and perfect picture.

Patty said...

I Love this idea for a summer soup! So refreshing!

Victoria said...

Gazpacho is one of my favorite cold soups. The watermelon just takes it over the top! Nothing screams of summer more than this combination :)

Tanantha said...

that person would be me, Marisa. hahah. I at first thought chilled soup was weird. It's my culture too and we don't really eat cold soup. Watermelon and cucumber are great combination and I love the topping of feta cheese and mints!

Lazaro Cooks said...

Flavor profile heaven. My kind of soup. I'd be quite happy with a bowl...or two.

Magic of Spice said...

What beautiful flavors...this looks so wonderful and perfect for warmer weather, nice!

Bren @ Flanboyant Eats™ said...

Great looking gazpacho! And, I'm with Joan. Watermelon was a popular option for this challenge. I'm glad we all came up with something different! :)

Organic Greek Delicatessen said...

Loving these summer recipes! Thanks a lot!

sp said...

Heaven in a few simple bites