Watermelon Gazpacho, A Cool Summer Refresher

Source: Micki Seibel, August 2013

Source: Micki Seibel, August 2013

This variation of traditional gazpacho uses the sweetness of ripe watermelon to create an exceptional party appetizer. It’s refreshing and clean flavors make a perfect starter to any meal. Besides being easy to make, you can make it hours ahead of time.

Serving Size: Serves 6 in small bowls or 12 as a small appetizer served in espresso cups.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups of watermelon, cut into 1″ cubes
  • 4 ripe tomatoes
  • 1 english cucumber, peeled and chopped
  • 2 scallions, whites and greens chopped
  • 1/2 jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 tsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Place 2 cups of the watermelon in a food processor and pulse several times. Don’t liquify it. Just pulse it into a coarse texture. Remove to a non-reactive bowl and set aside.
  2. Combine the tomatoes, cucumber, scallions, and jalapeño to the food processor, and pulse until coarsely chopped.
  3. Add the tomato mixture to the watermelon and stir to combine.
  4. Add the last cup of watermelon, rice wine vinegar, olive oil, and salt and pepper and stir together to form a coarse soup.
  5. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  6. To serve, stir and pour into short drinking glasses or small bowls and garnish with a short strip of green from the scallions.

How to Not Screw It Up

  1. Do not over-process the watermelon or vegetables. You are not making a smooth liquid here. You are just chopping them to make a lumpy, bumpy soup. The coarse texture is a key to great gazpacho (and this watermelon variation of it is no exception).
  2. Don’t skip the salt and pepper. Adding a generous pinch or two of kosher salt adds depth to the flavor. Sodium dissolves in liquid, and by sitting the soup and stirring, you dissolve any sodium that would add sodium to your blood level (for those of you who are–or must be–heart paranoid). In short, adding salt adds a lot to the flavor and adds nothing negative to your health.
  3. Be patient and let the gazpacho refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Up to several hours of refrigeration is even better. The allows the flavors to marinate with each other and adds more depth of flavor to the finished soup.
  4. Use flavorful tomatoes. I know. Hard to do with store bought tomatoes. So, if you can’t get fresh tomatoes from your or a friend’s garden, let your store bought tomatoes sit a few days to really get ripe. This recipe stands on the flavor of the tomatoes and watermelon.