Heirloom Tomato and Watermelon Gazpacho Soup

By Samantha Binkley

This rendition of gazpacho is truly a gazpacho-like no other! I taught this recipe in the March cooking class and it was a hit. It is so fresh and flavorful with hints of cucumber and jalapeño. With spring upon us and summer ahead, this can be a starter or a full meal when you add fresh crab or grilled shrimp to your soup at the end.  To be honest, until I tried this version of cold tomato soup, I was never a huge fan. Adding fresh heirloom tomatoes, watermelon, cilantro, and jalapeño bring this dish alive.

The key to preparing this dish quickly is to practice your mise en place. Get all your ingredients out and in front of you before you begin. Skinning the tomatoes by blanching them in hot water is an essential step to prevent tomato skins in your gazpacho-a show stopper for me, not only because they are fibrous, but they do not show well.

Lastly, the garnish is everything (well, almost.) Chopped cucumbers, peppers, and red onions are standard, but edible flowers, fresh herbs, diced avocados or other fruits work well too.

Here’s the recipe for my healthy, delicious and pretty version using my Healthy On You® Provence You’ve Been Gone spice blend.

Ingredients

Makes 6 servings

  •  lbs.
    heirloom tomatoes
  • 2 cups
    roughly chopped watermelon
  • ½
    jalapeño, seeded and cut in half
 or 1 tsp. of jalapeño infused olive oil
  • 3
    Persian cucumbers or 1 hothouse cucumber
  • 2
  • 8
    cilantro sprigs, plus cilantro leaves
 for garnish
  • 2
    garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tbsp
    sherry vinegar
 or red wine vinegar
  •  cup
    extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbsp
    diced sweet pepper
s (red,yellow)
  • 3 tbsp
    diced red onion
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • Good quality extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

Preparation

  1. Score the tomatoes by making an “X” mark with a knife at the bottoms and blanch the tomatoes in boiling water for 1 minute.
  2. Cool the tomatoes in a bowl of ice water for a few minutes and use your fingers to slip off their skins. Save the iced water.
  3. Remove the cores and coarsely chop the tomatoes, saving all of the juice. ​
  4. Seed and dice 3 tablespoons of unpeeled cucumber, for the garnish. Peel and coarsely chop the remaining cucumbers.
  5. Place the tomatoes, the coarsely chopped cucumber, jalapeño, cilantro sprigs, garlic, vinegar, the Provence You've Been Gone spice blend and olive oil in a blender with 1 to 1½ teaspoons of the Bohemian Rosemary sea salt and some pepper.

  6. Process at the lowest speed until broken down. Turn the speed up to high and puree until the soup is completely smooth.
  7. If the soup is too thick, add a little of the ice water. Taste for seasoning. Repeat with the rest of the soup ingredients. Chill the soup in the refrigerator until it's very cold.
  8. Toss the diced sweet pepper, onion and cucumber together in a small bowl. Pour the gazpacho into 6 chilled soup bowls and scatter the pepper mixture over the soup.
  9. Sprinkle cilantro leaves at the center of each bowl. Finish each soup with a drizzle of really good quality olive oil.