Watermelon Gazpacho {No Tomatoes!}

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Like most of the country, New York has been suffering through a heat wave for the past week. Quite frankly, it’s too hot to cook or even to eat anything very substantial. For the first few days I was content eating salads for dinner, but after more than two or three days of salad I start to get cranky so I tried to think of something that would satisfy my raving for real food without requiring me to actually cook (since the 5 minutes I spent over the stove sautéing onions last night left me so hot that I couldn’t even enjoy the steak that Shawn grilled for me).

An ice-cold gazpacho seemed like it would hit the spot, but that suggestion was met with a resounding, “No way!” My effort to convince Shawn that gazpacho is basically just pureed salsa (the only way he’ll eat raw tomatoes) didn’t get me anywhere. Luckily, I had this recipe up my sleeve — a sightly spicy watermelon soup without a single tomato.

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Loaded with cucumber and yellow bell pepper and enriched with an almond-cilantro pesto, this gazpacho doesn’t have the cloying sweetness of so many other fruit-based soups — you definitely won’t mistake it for dessert! Requiring little more than a blender and a refrigerator, it’s the perfect way to beat the summer heat. Serve it with a side of store-bought breadsticks for a satisfying dinner that even the staunchest tomato-hater will love.

This gazpacho is delicious on its own, but if you want to go crazy add a dash of angostura bitters or sherry peppers sauce to your bowl. You’ll be glad you did! It adds an extra dimension of flavor that takes this soup from great to out-of-this-world.

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Watermelon Gazpacho

Prep time: 15 Minutes; Chill time: 1 Hour
Yield: 4 Servings

  • 3 pound Watermelon, peeled and cut into 1-2 inch cubes
  • 1 Cucumber, peeled and chopped
  • 1 Yellow Bell Pepper, seeded
  • 1/4 cup fresh Cilantro
  • 12 raw/unroasted Almonds
  • 1 Jalapeno, roughly chopped
  • 1 Tbs. Olive Oil
  • 1 Lime, juiced
  • Black Pepper, to taste
  • Bitters or Sherry Peppers Sauce plus additional watermelon for garnish, if desired

Add the watermelon and cucumber to a food processor or blender, working in batches if needed. Blend until smooth — about 30 seconds in a food processor.

Set a mesh strainer over a large bowl. Pour the watermelon and cucumber puree through the strainer to remove the seeds. Press down gently to extract as much liquid as possible — don’t worry if some pulp seeps through.

Add the pepper, cilantro, almonds, jalapeno, and about 1 cup of your strained liquid back into the food processor/blender. Blend until a smooth pesto forms — about 1 minute. Stir the pesto into the reserved soup base. Whisk in the olive oil and lime juice.  Season with black pepper.

Chill at least 1 hour or until ready to serve.

If desired, garnish with additional diced watermelon and chopped cilantro. Allow each diner to season their bowl with bitters or sherry peppers sauce.

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Congratulations to the winner of my Back to the Roots giveaway, Kristen! I’ll be emailing you to get your shipping info. For those of you that didn’t win, don’t forget about the 10% off code (mushrooms4me10). Check out how great my little garden is doing! I can’t wait to cook them up… they have about 5 more days to grow and are at the stage where they double in size every day (I can literally see them getting bigger over the course of the day. It’s amazing!)

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I’m submitting this post to Souper Sunday and Wanderfood Wednesday.

Comments

  1. This looks delicious. I agree with you that it is too hot to cook. I have done simple 1 pot dishes that don’t require a lot of work.

  2. I definitely have mixed feelings about gazpacho as well, although I really love tomatoes so I’m not sure why that is. Either way, this version sounds delicious and oh so refreshing!

  3. Watermelon in gazpacho…love it! What a refreshing soup.

  4. I’m so glad you are doing healthy and delicious cooking.
    My bz. tag line is “HEALTHY MARRIES DELICIOUS”!
    Feel free to check out my blog and website:
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    wwww.devanaturals.com

    I wish you well & keep up the good work !

  5. Brilliant!
    I recently had a watermelon gazpacho during a dishcrawl in this sweltering heat. It was definitely tasty and refreshing!

  6. Now that’s something I never knew possible. My first instinct would to be going ‘yuck’, but I do think it might actually be pretty good. Gotta try this for sure.

  7. I’ve never tried watermelon gazpacho, just the traditional tomato gazpacho. Watermelon is so refreshing on these hot days, so I can only imagine how good this must have been!

  8. The watermelon straining looks a bit like sorbet! Nice. Watermelon is summer’s perfect fruit. So wonderful that they are available exactly in these hot summer days.

    Hope you’re doing well, dear Lauren!

  9. What a great idea! Sometimes tomato based gazpacho doesn’t agree with my stomach, so this sounds like a great alternative and also since I absolutely LOVE watermelon! If it has watermelon, it HAS to be good! Thanks for sharing your recipe!

  10. I LOVE tomatoes. A lot. You know that ;) But I also love watermelon, so this is a great take on the dish.

    I’ve never added almonds to my gazpacho: usually just add bread.

    • Shawn hates tomatoes; I hate bread.

      Maybe hate is too strong, but its not my favorite. It goes bad faster than I eat it, so I rarely have it in the house. Plus, I know its more traditional, but something about soggy bread in soup weirds me out.

  11. Oh how I love Gazpacho in the summer ! I’ve never had this Watermelon version. I must try this one. Thanks for sharing. I enjoyed this recipe idea and the rest of the blog. Will be back soon!

  12. This is truly very innovative…now I will have some more uses of my watermelon other than just juices!

  13. Wow, what next? Something that I have never heard of. Interesting combination of jalepenos and watermelon.

  14. What a great recipe! I love that it highlights fruit, but is not an inherently sweet dish. Sounds very refreshing.

  15. Hi Lauren, I am a regular reader, but rarely comment….had to today, holy smokes this looks amazing!!! I will definitely be trying this one! Thanks for all of your stellar recipes! All the best…

  16. I’m in love with this idea! I’m not a huge tomato soup fan so this is perfect!

  17. This is definitely perfect for this brutal heat! Love the flavors in this =)

  18. um…you hate bread? I guess since you make the most amazing looking gazpacho we can still be friends. :) This is perfect for all those 100* days we’ve been experiencing!

  19. I love everything about this recipe. The heat, the sweet and the creativity.

  20. I have been on a Gazpacho kick lately too. This looks fabulous and very refreshing. Thanks for sharing it with Souper Sundays this week. ;-)

  21. Definitely way too hot to cook! Your gazpacho is perfect for this weather, looks fantastic!

  22. I was never crazy about gazpacho but this watermelon version looks and sounds like just the thing for me.

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