Gazpacho with a (watermelon) twist

Watermelon gazpacho served on a hot Spanish summer's day

This is the story of how a Polish girl taught an Australian girl how to make a traditional Spanish soup, while an Argentine girl played guitar. Probably the most international lunch I’ve ever hosted!

On the menu was gazpacho, a chilled tomato soup that has long been popular here in Spain, especially during the searing summer months when the mid-afternoon sun bakes city pavements bare of people. It’s remarkable just how refreshing and cooling a big arvo bowl of gazpacho can be.

I freaking luuuuuuurve the stuff. Yet, despite having lived in Spain for more than a year, I’d never actually tried making my own. Until last week when, as the temperature climbed above 30 degrees, I was spurred into action by my Polish friend, Asia, who sung the praises of her cooling gazpacho with a fruity twist: watermelon.

Traditional gazpacho is ridiculously healthy and easy to make, just a matter of blending together a bunch of raw veggies. Naturally, tomatoes are the stand out ingredient, complemented by a generous splash of olive oil and helpings of garlic, onion, cucumber and capsicum.

Asia’s version is equally as easy but the watermelon adds a richness and depth for a gazpacho that is, well, unbeatable.

Friends enjoy generous bowls of watermelon gazpacho

Cooling watermelon gazpacho

What goes in:

6 large tomatoes
About a quarter of a small watermelon (for example, we used about as much as you can see on the plate in the photo above)
1 onion
1 red capsicum (or pepper, for Americans)
2 cucumbers
3 garlic cloves (less if you’re not a garlic fiend like me)
A glug of balsamic vinegar
A generous splash of olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

How you do it:

First step is to remove the tomato skins. Fill a large pot with enough water to cover the tomatoes and bring to the boil. Remove from heat and drop the tomatoes in, allowing them to sit for a minute or two until the skins begin to split. Remove from the water and allow to cool a little before peeling away the skin.

Roughly chop the onion, capsicum, cucumber, watermelon and garlic into medium-sized pieces.

Add the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper and blend everything together until smoothly puréed. Taste and season a little more if necessary. Pop the lot in the fridge to chill before serving. The flavours deepen and richen over time so leave for a few hours or overnight if you have time to spare.

If you want to get fancy, serve your gazpacho topped with chopped cucumber, red and green capsicum and a little crusty bread for dipping.

Tomatoes steamed from their skins and ready to be made into gazpacho

Cooling and refreshing gazpacho with a watermelon twist

Huge thanks to the always beautiful Asia for sharing her recipe…

My beautiful Polish friend, Asia

And to Paloma for entertaining us with tunes while we cooked…

Paloma plays the guitar while we make Spanish gazpacho

By the way, if you’re ever in Alicante and looking for something to do, make sure you check out Asia’s blog Qué Pasa Alicante (in Spanish), which lists all the cool stuff happening across our fair city each day.

Come visit! Look how pretty Alicante is, with its towering mountains and glittering slice of Mediterranean coastline!

Sunset over the city of Alicante

Alicante's Postiguet beach

Oh — and this recipe has been featured along with tons of other fab meal ideas over at Virtual Vegan Potluck.

Koren

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8 Responses to Gazpacho with a (watermelon) twist

  1. An Unrefined Vegan July 24, 2014 at 11:20 pm #

    Ah! Inspired to add the watermelon! I’ll bet it mellows out the tang of the tomatoes, too. Thanks for sharing!

    • Koren July 24, 2014 at 11:48 pm #

      It really does superbly balance the whole show, Annie. Ah, so hot here again today. Might have to whizz up another batch!

  2. Chitra Jagadish July 25, 2014 at 8:02 am #

    this looks amazing and sounds interesting with watermelon in there…..

    • Koren July 25, 2014 at 8:24 pm #

      I’ll admit it seems kinda weird but trust me, it works! 🙂

  3. Lauren @ Create Bake Make July 25, 2014 at 7:50 pm #

    What a lovely recipe, such stunning photos too. Thank you for linking up with us for Fabulous Foodie Fridays.

    • Koren July 25, 2014 at 8:23 pm #

      Aw thanks, Lauren. So many yum recipes to be found on your link up!

  4. bakeplaysmile July 26, 2014 at 11:48 am #

    Oh how absolutely divine… both the food and the country! We visited Spain a few years ago and a loved the Gazpacho but have never made it myself (that’s all going to change now that I have your recipe!!). Spain was one of my absolute favourite European countries and I am dying to go back! I loved Barcelona the most but really want to go to San Sebastian next time as we missed it on our last trip. Thank you so much for linking your yummy recipe up with our Fabulous Foodie Fridays party and for sharing your beautiful travel tips!

    • Koren July 30, 2014 at 2:03 am #

      Yeah, Spain just has a way of working its way into your heart, huh? I haven’t made it up to San Sebastian yet but it’s high on my priority list. Argh, so many cool places here to visit! 🙂