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June 28, 2010

Recipe for watermelon gazpacho

Watermelongazpacho 

When watermelons take over the produce aisle in my local market, I know it's time for two summer traditions: watermelon soup, and the games we play at cookouts (stick the black seeds on your forehead to see how long they'll stay, or spit the seeds to see whose go the farthest). This watermelon gazpacho, which tastes sweet even though there's not a drop of added sugar in it, starts with seedless watermelon, balanced with the crunch of cucumber and a kick of acid from the vinegar, just like a traditional gazpacho. I can't begin to describe how good this soup tastes, except to tell you that when my friends Betsy and Steve tested the first batch, we all wanted to lick the bowl clean! The recipe, adapted from Eating Well, didn't call for green (jalapeño) Tabasco, but to me it's not a gazpacho without a hint of heat.

Watermelon gazpacho

Serves 6; can be made one day ahead.

Ingredients

8 cups diced seedless watermelon (approximately 6 pounds with the rind)
1 medium seedless (English) cucumber, finely diced
1/2 red or orange bell pepper, finely diced
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp minced shallot
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 tsp kosher salt, or more to taste
Juice of 1 lime
2 tsp green Tabasco sauce, or more to taste (I use more!)
Fresh black pepper

Directions

Place all ingredients in a very large bowl. With a spoon, crush some of the watermelon to release the liquid; it will help get the blending started. Puree with an immersion blender, or in a stand blender or food processor in batches if necessary, to the desired smoothness (I like mine a bit chunky). Taste, and adjust seasoning with salt, Tabasco and black pepper.

Refrigerate for two hours or overnight.

Print recipe only.

Comments

1
Posted by: T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types | June 29, 2010 at 09:20 AM

A very surprising combination - but I can see how that combination of sweet, heat and crunch would work quite well.

2
Posted by: Kalynskitchen | June 29, 2010 at 01:04 PM

Someday I must try this!

3
Posted by: Sarah | July 3, 2010 at 06:17 PM

Thank you, Lydia-- this soup is delicious, and although my daughter, also named Lydia and usually quite an adventurous eater, hasn't really embraced it, I am loving it. The heat, the sweet, the icy cold.... marvelous. A keeper!

4
Posted by: susan g | July 10, 2010 at 01:12 PM

Made this for dinner last night -- success, a keeper. Thinking feta would be good with it.

5
Posted by: Deeba Rajpal (@vindee) | June 25, 2012 at 12:10 PM

Looks a winner. I made a summer cooler this morning with watermelon and cucumber. Love the flavours in this gazpacho. YUM!

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  • I'm Lydia Walshin, a longtime food writer who lives and cooks in a real log house. If I could, I'd eat Chinese noodles, grapes, ice cream and soup every day.
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