Leftovers are the aftermath of every long holiday weekend. If a chunk of watermelon is among these leftovers, I have an excellent suggestion for something you may not have considered – Watermelon Gazpacho! You probably know that Gazpacho or Gaspacho is a cold soup made of raw, blended vegetables. It’s usually made with an uncooked mixture of tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, water, vinegar, onions, cucumbers, and green peppers. As it is both refreshing and cool, it’s most popular in the summer months. What you might not have know is that gazpacho is also a clean-out-the-fridge, mix-and-match, improvisational kind of soup! It’s a fun way to get your fruit and vegetable servings when it’s too hot to cook.
Pairing a sweet fruit with tomatoes, cucumbers, and hot sauce is an unexpected taste that is seriously delicious. The subtle sweetness of the watermelon is the perfect balance to the savory ingredients, while the hint of spice adds just the right complexity without too much heat.
Homemade gazpacho is super simple to make; no cooking required! It starts with prepping the fruit and veggies. I used a watermelon that was already halved and quartered – which is the amount that you need. (Adjust the recipe accordingly if you have more or less watermelon. This recipe is very flexible and forgiving!). Make cuts from the top part of the melon down to the rind and then make one-inch slices from one side to the other. Take your (sharp) knife and slice one-inch strips down the length of the melon – basically creating a crosshatch pattern. After making the cuts, start from one edge of the melon and cut along the rind.
The cubes will easily fall out.
Peel the cucumber and slice it in half. Using a spoon, scoop out the seeds and chop in quarters. If you use a seedless cuke, you can skip this step. Cut the tomato in half.
Puree the watermelon in a blender (or food processor) until smooth and transfer into a bowl or container.
Add the cucumber, tomato, onion, and basil to the blender. Blend until smooth. Pour the mixture into the container with the watermelon mixture and mix them with a spoon until thoroughly combined.
Stir in the red wine vinegar, salt, and a dash of hot sauce. Place in the refrigerator for four hours until cold. Chilling is an important step! The flavors won’t be at their peak if served at room temperature. The longer it chills, the better it will taste. Make it a day in advance. It will be at its best. If desired, garnish with a few drops of olive oil. The delicate flavors of this watermelon and cucumber sweet-and-savory chilled soup make it perfect for serving as a starter on a summer evening, pairing well with grilled fish, chicken, shrimp, and steak. Or, do it as a light lunch with a salad and crusty bread. Watermelon Gazpacho is dairy-free, gluten-free, and vegan. Enjoy!
Watermelon GazpachoCourse: Soups, AppetizerCuisine: SpanishDifficulty: Easy
This fast & easy chilled summer soup is a sweet, savory, and delicious blend of watermelon, cucumber, tomato, onion, and basil. Serve as a starter with grilled fish or chicken or as a lunch with salad and crusty bread.
4 cups seedless watermelon (roughly a ¼ of a large watermelon)
1/2 medium cucumber
1 plum tomatoes
1/4 small red onion
¼ cup loosely packed basil leaves
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/8 teaspoon salt
Dash of hot sauce
- Prep: Roughly chop the watermelon into cubes. Peel the cucumber and cut in half. Scoop out the seeds and roughly chop. Halve the tomato. Rinse the basil leaves and pat dry. Roughly chop the onion
- Place the watermelon in a blender and puree until smooth. Pour into a bowl or container, and set aside. Place the cucumber, tomato, onion and basil into the blender. Blend until smooth. Pour the mixture into the container with the watermelon mixture and mix them with a spoon until fully combined.
- Stir in the red wine vinegar, salt, and a dash of hot sauce. Place in the refrigerator and chill for at least 4 hours, until completely cold. If desired, serve garnished with a few drops of olive oil.
- Watermelon: Cantaloupe, strawberries and honeydew also make great gazpacho.
- Basil: Substitute or add fresh mint
- Onion: Substitute shallot or a sweet onion
- Hot sauce: Use your favorite brand (Louisiana Hot Sauce, Tabasco, Texas Hot Sauce). Kick up the heat by adding a slice or two of jalapeño, serrano, Thai, or chili red peppers.
- Zhoosh it up with a tropical flavor by adding pineapple tibbits.