WATERMELON GAZPACHO WITH FETA
What better way to celebrate summer than with a refreshing bowl of gazpacho? I’ve upped the chilled soup game with this quick and easy alternative to the classic. Tomatoes, watermelon, and a whole host of additional veggies and seasonings make this the ultimate entrée to beat the heat. Best of all, the new KitchenAid® Torrent™ Blender will whip it up in mere minutes.
This fruit- and vegetable-packed appetizer (or meatless main) starts off with the season’s freshest ingredients. While traditional gazpacho stars tomatoes, this recipe gets a touch of added sweetness from watermelon. Because the soup isn’t being cooked, it’s important to use the ripest available produce to maximize the flavor and texture of the gazpacho. So I turned to Melissa’s Produce, which provided perfectly plumped tomatoes, crisp cucumbers, juicy red peppers and assorted other produce for this recipe.
And it doesn’t get much easier than simply transferring most of the ingredients into the Torrent™ Blender, which features a magnetic drive guaranteed to crush, purée and liquefy all types of foods. Even tougher cucumber skins are no match for the powerful blades, which quickly shred them into a pulp.
The blender’s extra-large capacity jar easily accommodates large quantities of produce, and within seconds raw ingredients transform into a silky smooth soup. Best of all, at no point did I have to pause to scrape down the sides of the blender. The blades blended every last ingredient into a consistently textured purée without a chunk in sight.
But the real trick to mastering the perfect consistency of gazpacho is to not over-blend the ingredients, as doing so will result in too thin of a soup. Additionally, I always recommend leaving out one main ingredient and then adding it at the very end and pulsing just until the gazpacho reaches your desired consistency.
In this recipe, the watermelon is added during the final seconds, as it breaks down so quickly and needs but a second or two in the blender.
Once the ingredients have been blended, transfer the gazpacho to a large bowl and stir in a mix of olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper to kick up the flavor of the soup. Then it’s off to the fridge to chill out while the flavors develop.
A short while later, the gazpacho is ready to make its debut. Diced watermelon, fresh cilantro and crumbled feta cheese are the perfect pops of color and flavor as garnishes atop the soup. All that’s left to do is grab a spoon or start sipping on summer’s most refreshing meal in a bowl.
WATERMELON GAZPACHO WITH FETAMakes 4-6 servings
2 large tomatoes, cored and chopped
1 cucumber, seeded and chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 small red onion, peeled and quartered
3 gloves garlic, coarsely chopped
4 cups cubed seedless watermelon
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Crumbled feta cheese, for garnishing
Cilantro leaves, for garnishing
Add the chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, onions and garlic to the Torrent™ Blender and pulse just until pureed (do not over-blend or the soup will be too thin). Once the ingredients are pureed, add the watermelon and pulse for a few seconds just until the watermelon is combined. (The gazpacho can be thicker or thinner depending on your preferences.)
Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and stir in the olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper. Taste and season as needed. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate it until chilled and for a minimum of 1 hour. (The longer you refrigerate it, the more the flavors will develop.)
When ready to serve, portion out the chilled gazpacho and garnish with crumbled feta cheese, cilantro leaves and additional cubed watermelon (optional).