Watermelon and Tomato Gazpacho

Photos by Jaymi Heimbuch

It's been quite the popular year for watermelon. Chefs allover have been using the fruit in many new and interesting ways, for example, it's even being grilled! But, when it's all said and done, this recipe is still my favorite use of the quasi-melon. Enjoy this gazpacho with an off-dry Viognier or any white with floral and honey-type notes.

  • 6 cups fresh watermelon
  • 2 large tomatoes
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 serrano chile, minced
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • Pinch of salt

1. Carefully cut your watermelon in half. I prefer my watermelon with seeds to those without because you can roast them. But this was all that Trader Joe's had. That's what I get for shopping there and not at my local co-op.

2. Cut the watermelon half into layers and then cube it.

3. Measure out six cups and purée it. Reserve the remaining cubes for garnish or just to snack on, because who doesn't love watermelon? Yum!

4. Slice the bottom off each tomato using a serrated knife.

5. Using the same knife, make "C" cuts to the tomato. The key here is to cut off the flesh and to avoid the seed membrane.

6. Purée the tomatoes in the food processor.

7. Peel the cucumber and cut away the seeds with a knife, very carefully.

8. Purée the cucumber. Remember, food processors work best when the pieces are evenly cut.

9. In a large mixing bowl, add together the puréed tomatoes, cucumber and watermelon.

I didn't purée my watermelon well enough so I had to pour the juice over a spoon in order to prevent the chunks from making a splash. Oops!

10. Put the tomato-cucumber-watermelon mixture through a sieve to remove the extra pulp. You, of course, do not have to do this. For me, a filtered gazpacho really accents the delicacy of watermelon.

11. Add the cilantro, basil, serrano pepper, sugar and lime. Salt to taste. Chill for at least 30 minutes.

12. To serve, place some of the remaining watermelon chunks in a shallow bowl and fill with gazpacho. You want the chunks to still be visible. Look how pretty it is! Almost too pretty to eat.

13. Oh, I said almost. Finish with some fresh mint leaves.

I love this recipe because it's exactly what I expect from a classic gazpacho but hardly ever find. For me, the chilled soup should be refreshing yet exciting. Most recipes turn out like cold marinara sauce or salsa. Not this one, enjoy!

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