I don’t need to tell you how much I love gazpacho. I’m pretty sure I took care of that when I wrote about my nectarine gazpacho a few weeks ago. I also mentioned that I’d been wanting to try a watermelon gazpacho after having it in a restaurant in June. The occasion finally presented itself when I found a beautiful watermelon at the market and couldn’t resist.
I had also just received the August issue of Bon Appétit in the mail, and guess what? A recipe for watermelon gazpacho. They gave me just the hints I needed to give this soup a little extra punch: the addition of a mild chile pepper and a basil and mint infused syrup that I incorporated into the mix. The result was delicious. I only wish the soup had been a bit smoother, but my mixer is probably to blame for that. I also would have liked to use a seedless watermelon, or to have taken the time to get rid of all the white seeds. Maybe next time!
In any case, this soup is even more refreshing than a traditional gazpacho. Who doesn’t love sweet, mild watermelon in the summer? It has just the right amount of bite while still staying sweet, thanks to the watermelon of course but also the syrup. I’m thinking I may need to hurry up and explore other fruity cold soups before fall arrives. I’m thinking in particular about an incredible green apple and curry soup that I had on a cruise a couple of years ago. I’ll keep you posted!
Watermelon gazpacho with basil mint syrup
Adapted slightly from Bon Appétit
1 C basil leaves
1 C mint leaves
4 whole cloves
1 bay leaf
1/3 C sugar
1/2 t salt
3 plum tomatoes, skin removed and roughly chopped
3 C watermelon, roughly chopped
1 C cucumber, peeled and roughly chopped
1/2 yellow onion, roughly chopped
1/4 C lime juice
1 small mild chile, chopped
In a small saucepan, combine sugar and 1 1/2 C water to a boil along with the basil, mint, cloves, salt and bay leaf. Remove from heat when you reach a boil and let steep for about 15 minutes. Strain and set aside.
In a blender, purée all remaining ingredients until you reach the consistency that you like. Taste and season with salt and pepper as necessary. Stir in the syrup and serve with a drizzle of olive oil.