How to Make Watermelon Gazpacho at Home
We were having dinner at Radnor Valley Country Club a couple of weeks ago and they were serving this incredible watermelon gazpacho recipe as a starter to a prix fix meal. It was one of those perfect summer evenings.
We first went for a swim with our friends, changed and enjoyed dinner on their back patio overlooking the pool. The tables were spaced for social distancing and it was nice to be out for a meal for the first time since the pandemic. They even had live music from the Bourbon Tabernacle Band, a two person group originally from Kentucky.
What is Gazpacho?
Gazpacho is a cold soup that is thought to have originated in Andalusia, a region in southern Spain. It has influences from both Greece and Rome.
Originally, it was made with stale bread that was combined with garlic and olive oil along with water or vinegar. These ingredients most likely came from the Roman soldiers who carried them around to make soups and stews.
It was then put into a mortar and pounded smooth. Afterwords various vegetables were added to the mixture.
The spices that are used for gazpacho will depend on only on what country you are in, but what region of that country you live in. I read at one source Christopher Columbus brought gazpacho with him on his travels from Spain and brought back tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers that made their way into the soup.
Today, you’ll find it made with fruits and vegetables including watermelon. You might say gazpacho is a generic term for any cold soup with a vegetable or fruit base. I think of it as always having a tomato base.
You’ll find our favorite gazpacho recipe here.
Chef Chris Lamond’s Watermelon Gazpacho
I received this recipe from Chef Chris Lamond who is the new chef at Radnor Valley CC. He grew up and worked in Florida where this version of watermelon gazpacho is quite popular.
Chef Chris studied at the Sarasota County Technical school and was Chef de Cuisine at Plantation Golf and Country Club in Venice Florida.
So after our whole table enjoyed this starter dish, I knew I had to contact chef Chris for the recipe and he was kind enough to send it to me with a few comments below.
From Chef Chris
This watermelon gazpacho recipe came as something of a necessity in Florida where I grew up. The seemingly endless amount of excruciatingly hot days gave birth to a wonderfully refreshing gazpacho with a subtle sweetness built right in.
The most crucial aspect to this soup is the ripeness of you produce. As fruits and vegetables ripen, acidity increases as well as sweetness. Your patience and care with them will be rewarded.
Perfect as a starter to a hot summer meal.
- 28 ounces plum tomatoes canned with juices
- 28 ounces vine ripe tomatoes peeled and seeded
- 28 ounces ripe watermellon medium diced
- 12 ounces red onion fnely diced
- 12 ounces cucumber peeled, seeded and finely diced
- 2 ounces lime juice freshly squeezed
- 1 ounce fresh cilantro finely shredded
- 4 ounces celery finely diced
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- ½ tablespoon blck pepper
- 12 ounces red bell pepper finely diced
- 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 cup olive oil extra virgin
- ½ ounce fresh basil finely shredded
- tobasco sauce to taste
Start by blending the plum tomatoes and half of the vine ripe tomatoes to a fairly smooth consistency.
Fold in the remainder of the vine ripe tomatoes, watermelon, diced red onion, cucumber, lime juice, bell pepper,celery, salt, black pepper, e.v.o.o., and basil Pulse a few times to break everything up.
Add your crushed red pepper flakes and cilantro taste and add your tobasco to taste.
What Chef Chris didn’t say in his directions but I suggest you do is to let this sit for at least a couple of hours before serving. This is one of those dishes that get better as it sits and will be even better the next day.