A refreshing (and gluten-free) watermelon and tomato soup that’s best eaten cold. The feta cream and fried capers make it truly spectacular!
I can’t believe the end of summer is almost here and the only watermelon recipe I’ve posted so far is this Mediterranean watermelon and feta cheese salad! And speaking of things I can’t believe, I also can’t believe I’ve been nominated by Saveur magazine as a finalist for the Best New Voice category! So if you can spare a few seconds, please visit the Saveur blog awards page, scroll down to the best new voice category and vote for The Hungry Bites (I will be eternally grateful!). You can vote as many times you want and as many blogs you like until September 6th. But enough with the awards, let’s talk about my favorite fruit! A few days ago, after realizing the shortage of watermelon recipes on my blog I planned not one but two recipes, one appetizer, and one drink. The first is today’s watermelon gazpacho and the second – which will be posted this Sunday – is an amazing watermelon margarita.
Gazpacho is a cold soup usually served as an appetizer. The recipe is originated from Spain, where it’s enjoyed during summer mostly because it is very light and refreshing. Someone who hasn’t tried it may be a little skeptical at first since the idea of a cold soup is not very appealing to most people 🙂 But what if we didn’t see it as a soup? What if we treated gazpacho as thick vegetable juice? Would that be enough to change our perception? For me, it was, at least to make me try it. And I have to tell you that after trying it, I was convinced: gazpacho is a great appetizer. At least this watermelon and tomato gazpacho, since I haven’t tried all the different gazpachos out there!
If you’re looking for a healthy appetizer that requires no cooking (except if you decide to make the fried capers, though you can definitely use them raw), minimum effort, and is refreshing and light, then you landed on the right recipe! Moreover, this soup is different enough from the usual appetizers that will surely impress any guests you may have for dinner and will make them think that you spent hours in the kitchen preparing this extraordinary delicacy. And I have to say that even if this gazpacho is pretty tasty on its own, the thing that makes it shine is the feta cream and the capers which provide little bursts of flavor!
You can use a few slices of hot chili pepper or some drops of Tabasco sauce for some spiciness.
For easier blending, first, blend some pieces of watermelon and then add everything else into the blender.
Though at first I thought it would be better to peel the tomatoes, it turns out that there’s no need to do that.
Add the basil, lemon, and vinegar stated in the recipe, blend, and then taste and adjust the seasonings and basil to your liking.
The balsamic cream is thickened balsamic vinegar (usually by adding xanthan gum). If you don’t have it, you can use plain balsamic vinegar with no difference to the end result.
- For the soup:
- 2 cups watermelon, cubed and without the seeds
- 2 cups tomatoes
- 1 persian cucumber, peeled and sliced
- 5-8 basil leaves
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Optional: some slices of chili pepper or a few drops Tabasco sauce
- For the feta cream and capers:
- 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons capers, well drained
- Basil leaves and balsamic vinegar cream for serving
Drain the capers pressing gently onto a kitchen towel and transfer them to a small pan. Add the olive oil and cook over high heat until crispy and you can hear no sizzle (5-10 minutes). Set aside.
Put the feta cheese in a bowl and mash it with a fork. Add one tablespoon yogurt at a time, mixing and mashing with the fork, until creamy. Refrigerate until needed.
Transfer all the ingredients for the soup in a blender and blend until smooth (it may be best to start with a few pieces of watermelon first and then add all the rest).
Taste the soup and adjust balsamic vinegar and seasonings to your taste.
Chill in the fridge for 2-3 hours.
Stir feta cream with a fork to loosen it up. Divide soup into 4 bowls and put 2 tablespoons of feta cream in each bowl. Garnish with basil leaves and capers and drizzle with a bit of balsamic cream.
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