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.
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.