Thursday, January 27, 2022

Watermelon Gazpacho

 Originally published August 1, 2011

It's been almost two years now and I still haven't posted about the wonderful time Mr. Eats and I had in New York on our "babymoon." [Update: I never will--ha!] Anyhoo, one of the places we stopped for lunch was a cute little vegan cafe called Sacred Chow. The special soup they had that day was watermelon gazpacho. I've never forgotten it.

So I went to the Google and searched for recipes. Nothing was quite right. There were no tomatoes, it wasn't spicy, and I distinctly remember avocado, mango and cilantro. It was somewhat sweet and somewhat savory, too. So I thought, what the heck, I'll try to make it from memory. Luckily for me, their Facebook page has a photo with a list of ingredients! The only thing I didn't think of was olive oil, but I think that would have occurred to me during the process. The list didn't include an actual recipe, so I came up with one on my own and made a tiny addition (cucumbers, which--as I mentioned--are in abundance around here right now).

And I have to say that I'm really patting myself on the back for this one (though I owe a big thanks to the folks at Sacred Chow for the inspiration). This soup is delightful. No tomatoes means it's easy on the tummy but the oil, vinegar and salt (and the avocado and cucumber) give it a nice balance so it's not too sweet. It's perfect for dinner. I served this with some chimichurri in chili-infused olive oil and roasted corn on the cob.

A note on preparation--once again, I used what's becoming my favorite gadget, the immersion blender. I put all the watermelon in the bowl and gave it a few whirls so that there was about half liquid and half watermelon chunks. I love that thing. The directions below are for those of you who need to use your blender or other appliance to puree the watermelon.

Watermelon Gazpacho
serves 4-6

1/4 of a small watermelon, chopped into small chunks with seeds removed (about 2 1/2 cups when cut)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 to 2 teaspoons ground sea salt
1 avocado, peeled and cut into chunks
1 mango, peeled and cut into chunks
1/2 cup of seedless red grapes, cut in halves
1/2 a cucumber, seeded and cut into small chunks
1/4 cup cilantro, diced
fresh ground pepper to taste

Set aside half the watermelon chunks in a large bowl. Puree the remaining watermelon and pour into the bowl. Stir in the olive oil, vinegar and salt one teaspoon at a time, testing between teaspoons.

Add the avocado, mango, grapes, cucumber and mix in with the cilantro. Add a few grinds of pepper and serve chilled.


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