Tomato gazpacho is a fantastic summer soup, but you can actually use many other fruits and vegetables to make gazpacho. Watermelon is a fantastic example. It is so juicy, it’s halfway to becoming a soup (or a smoothie) as soon as you cut into it, and it’s refreshing sweetness is a great background for other flavors. If you’re ready to experiment with gazpacho variations, my Watermelon Gazpacho is a great place to start. It is light and refreshing, perfect for a summer appetizer or even a light main course when paired with a hearty salad and good bread. It is slightly sweet, with a hint of tang from balsamic vinegar and a hint of spice from jalapeno.
Like classic gazpacho, it is easy to customize this recipe to suit your own tastes, so don’t feel the need to stick to the recipe with too much prevision. If you have extra cucumber, you can add in some more. If you like it spicier, you can add in extra jalapeno. Any way you make it, it is going to be delicious. It requires no cooking, so you can whip it up and serve it very fast. You can also prepare it the day before and store it in the frige to allow the flavors to really meld together.
I really like having extra gazpacho on hand because it’s a great lunch or afternoon snack, so I’ll often make an even bigger batch than this recipe is for. You might have to work in a few batches depending on the capacity of your food processor/blender, but as long as you stir everything together in a large bowl to blend it evenly, it will make no difference in the finished soup.
8-10 cups chopped seedless watermelon (about 6 pounds with the rind)
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped (1 1/2 cups)
1/2 large red bell pepper, chopped
1 3-inch jalapeno pepper, chopped and de-seeded
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp minced shallot
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
for garnish: 1 cup watermelon, dinely ficed; 1/4 cup cucumber, finely diced
Working in two batches, puree all ingredients in a food processor (except garnish) and pulse until smooth. Pour into a large serving bowl. Stir in the remaining diced mixture and refrigerate 4 hours, or overnight, until cold.
LeiJune 4, 2006
Wow Nic, that looks incredibly refreshing! You’re fortunate to be in an area where Watermelons are already in season! I’ll be making this one later in the summer when ours have appeared in the markets!
IvonneJune 4, 2006
Just gorgeous, Nic!
We could have used some here in Toronto earlier this week when we had an awful heat wave.
As always just lovely!
CathyJune 4, 2006
Nic – that sounds delicious. Adding the balsamic vinegar was a good idea – otherwise, I think I’d miss the acidity of the tomatoes. Definitely one to try!
JoeJune 4, 2006
I had that set aside from EW too – I will have to note down your changes!
amandaJune 7, 2006
MMM…. how delightfully refreshing! i could go for some right now. I will definately be making this one some time over the summer. Thanks, as always!
SeanJune 14, 2006
Oh, drool. Of course, it’s rarely warm enough in San Francisco to really crave gazpacho, but I love it so. I’ll file this away for that one hot day we’ll get this year. 🙂