Oh, dear, it is only Wednesday but here we have TBT recipe meant for tomorrow. Well, you can get a head start on a most interesting summer soup!
I first posted this in October, 2014, as fall was definitely upon. I suspect, good as it was then, this recipe would benefit from watermelons selected at the peak of summer. This is most definitely NOT plebeian gazpacho!
The leaves are yellow now. As yellow as that watermelon in the background. Before the leaves are gone, before the last watermelons disappear, before the mint blackens in that first frost, this is a recipe to capture the last lights of summer. This gazpacho is best served very cold, in shot glasses, perhaps with some vodka on the side.
You can, of course, with a recipe like this make many adjustments. Suzen is not a ginger fan, so we did leave that out. “Red chiles” as called for in the recipe can mean just about anything in terms of heat. As the preparation describes below, if you taste test and find the heat lacking, just grind up another chile and add it in.
Suzen and I served batches of this as an appetizer for parties on two nights in a row. Lots of smiles and “what is this?” questions. The taste is good but it can be very puzzling to the palate. It’s not your everyday gazpacho. It is one you will fondly remember, and, next summer when the watermelons arrive again, you’ll make again and smile again.
Watermelon, Mint and Chile Gazpacho
Yield: 6+ cups
- 1 ⅔ pounds watermelon chunks
- 1 large tomato
- 20 mint leaves
- 2 tablespoons peeled and chopped fresh ginger
- 2 red chiles, chopped
Remove as many seeds as you can from the watermelon and roughly dice the flesh., Chunk it into a bowl then roughly dice the tomato and add to the watermelon. Add the mint leaves, ginger, and chiles.
Now, all that remains is to convert your bowl of prepped ingredients into a liquid. I think this is best done in a food processor rather than a blender. A food processor will leave a little texture, which is nice, while a blender will process everything to a super-smooth consistency (as is a blender’s purposes in life — I’m not complaining, just saying!). So tip your ingredients into a food processor and process to a fairly smooth but still textured soup.
Have a taste — you should pick out the watermelon as the overriding flavor, but there should be just a hint of acidity from the tomato, a background minty note, and of course a slight smack of chile. If more mint or chile is required, pound a little more in a mortar and pestle and stir through the gazpacho.
Chill the gazpacho in the fridge until really cold, then decant into shot glasses and serve.
Source: Spice Odyssey by Paul Merrett
Photo Information: Canon T2i, EFS 60 mm Macro Lens, F/4.5 for 1/40th second at ISO‑250