Ever just have the TV on for background noise? Our TV is on anytime one of us is in the house, but we rarely actually sit down to watch anything. Such was the case last week when my attention was captured by a chef showing us how to make gazpacho. So what’s so exciting about that? Gazpacho is gazpacho. But there, my friend, you are wrong. This was Watermelon Gazpacho, and it was weird enough that I stopped what I was doing to watch him toss the garden into a blender.
I was in the market for a new and refreshing lunch recipe, as a good friend of mine was coming over to give me a hand with doggie hygiene…..dental hygiene…..for dogs……
My friend is a retired dental hygienist (for people) who has been scaling her own dogs’ teeth for years. She offered to drive an hour and a half out to the farm to clean my two dogs’ choppers. She does this without anesthesia. Mayzie, the bearded collie, behaved like an angel. But I didn’t expect anything less of her. She is a perfect lady. Bayley, the year and an half golden doodle, on the other hand, wasn’t quite so easy. But with Bayley on her side, and me laying fully stretched out on top of her, we were able to keep her still enough to finish the job. Both dogs were over and done with in less than half an hour and it saved me at least $600 over having the vet do it.
So the least I could do was to make lunch. I served the Watermelon Gazpacho and Cucumber Tea Sandwiches. And the soup was DELICIOUS!
I checked out a dozen or more recipes online and combined bits and pieces of several recipes to come up with my own signature dish. I’m going to show you how I made it. It’s super easy.
2 pounds ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and cut into wedges
1 medium bell pepper, seeded and chunked
1 English cucumber (about 1 pound) peeled, seeded and chunked
4 stalks of parsley
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
Extra basil leaves for garnish
3 cups of watermelon, cubed (I used a small, round, seedless melon)
2 peaches, peeled, pitted and sliced
2 TBSP apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp kosher salt and dash of pepper
Feta cheese for garnish
You can use a food processor, or a heavy duty blender. I used my Vitamix that we bought at a state fair back in the 80’s. It’s a work of art, don’t you think?
First, assemble all of your ingredients. Remember, there is no substitute for the freshest and ripest veggies and fruits.
Peel and seed the tomatoes. No cutting corners here. Peeling and seeding is not an option.
Peel and seed the cucumber. I like to use the long English cukes, because the seeds are really tiny. But particularly if you are using a regular cucumber, you need to remove the seeds. It’s easy. Just quarter the cucumber lengthwise, and cut the ridge off along with the seeds.
Chop the rest of the ingredients and set aside.
Throw the tomatoes, bell pepper, cucumber, garlic, basil and parsley into the blender and blend until smooth.
Continue to blend and add the peaches.
Now toss in the watermelon. You have a choice here. Do you want it slightly chunky, or smooth? I wanted a little texture of the watermelon, so I only pulsed the machine a few times.
Then I stirred in the vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper so as not to further mash the watermelon. Check it for seasoning according to your taste.
Place the soup in the fridge for at least 3 hours until it is chilled.
One of the recipes I found suggested sprinkling Feta cheese on top. Initially I was a little conflicted about the addition of the Feta, but I had some on hand, so I did a taste test with and without, and “with” won hands down. If fact, it totally “made” the soup.
So take my word for it and give it a try. Just be sure to crumble the cheese up really fine and just sprinkle on a light dusting.
This is a recipe that begs for summer fresh ingredients, so try it now and enjoy before the season ends.