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Watermelon Gazpacho with Shaved Feta

Watermelon Gazpacho with Shaved Feta

An easy Summer soup topped with grated feta cheese and fresh mint ~ it’s light, vibrant and has a spicy kick

Blended together: watermelon, aji pepper, cucumber, off the vine tomatoes, vadalia onion, garlic and lemon juice
Don’t skip the grated Feta Cheese garnish! Adds a pleasant zesty touch with a salty tang… perfect accompaniment to the soup.

Watermelon Gazpacho with Shaved Feta

Ingredients

4 cups cubed seedless watermelon, divided

½ teaspoon fresh garlic, peeled, coarsely chopped“natural flavoring”

¼ – ½ teaspoon fresh red hot chile pepper, such a aji pepper (can use cayenne, see note)

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (option: sherry vinegar)

¼ teaspoon sea salt

½ cup cucumbers, cut into ½” chunks – I used white unpeeled cucumbers (or use peeled regular cucumbers) 

1  ¾ cups tomatoes on the vine, cut in quarters  (the small, sweet dark red ones, about ¾ pound)

2 tablespoons vadalia onion, peeled, coarsely chopped

1 tablespoon fruity extra virgin olive oil

Garnishes:

Extra ¼” diced watermelon, tomatoes and cucumbers: ⅓ cup of each 

4 tablespoons grated feta cheese (grated from a chunk)

4 tablespoons fresh mint leaves (can use such as basil, oregano or tarragon)  

Instructions

1

Add 1 cup seedless watermelon cubes to the carafe of a blender with the garlic, chile pepper, lemon juice and sea salt. This is the base of the soup.
Blend from low to high speed until very smooth – 30 seconds.
Pour the base into a medium sized bowl.

2

Add the cucumbers, tomatoes, vadalia onions and olive oil to the carafe.”Pulse” by turning blender speed from low to medium until the veggies are chopped, but still a bit chunky with texture.
Pour into the soup base.

3

Cut remaining 3 cups of watermelon cubes into 1/2″ pieces.
Place them in a fine mesh strainer and press on the fruit, releasing much of its water*.
You will have approximately 1 1/2 cups of watermelon remaining.
Add this to the bowl and stir all together.

4

Cover tightly and refrigerate until very cold, at least 2 hours.

5

Make Garnishes: They are part of the soup!
To Serve: Place a cup of soup in individual bowls. Top with a portion of extra watermelon, cucumbers and tomatoes.
Grate feta cheese and scatter 1 tablespoon on each soup.
Garnish with mint sprigs – consider topping with thinly sliced mint leaves as well.

6

*This is done so the soup is not to watery – if all watermelon is added to the blender it will not have the correct consistency.

7

Note: I store spicy aji chile peppers (Peruvian hot pepper) in my freezer, and use what I need. Can use any spicy fresh red chiles to your taste, or cayenne pepper.

This recipe may not be reproduced without the consent of its author, Karen Sheer.

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