Watermelon Gazpacho

Do I need to talk about the heat?  I didn’t think so.  Cold soups are a summer staple, a way to beat the heat in the kitchen as well as out of it.  Gazpacho, like pesto, can be made with just about anything. The acidic bite or tang, not necessarily tomatoes, is what historically defines gazpacho.  Inspired by this recent NY Times recipe, this soup has it all: spicy, sweet, salty and tangy. — Jason Adams

{Recipe after the jump.}

 

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups cubed seedless watermelon, about 1 1/4 pounds
  • 1 pound tomatoes, quartered or cut into sixths
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, to taste
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • One small CSA celery, stalks chopped fine, about 3/4 cup chopped, leaves reserved
  • Salt
  • Hot smoked Spanish paprika, about ½ teaspoon, to taste

Preparing the Gazpacho:

Working in batches, purée all of the ingredients except the celery leaves in a blender for two minutes or longer until frothy and smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings, making sure you have used enough salt and lemon juice for a vivid flavor.

Transfer to a bowl, and chill for several hours. Taste and adjust seasonings.

As with all cold preparations, the colder they are the more aggressive the seasonings need to be, though go easy on the paprika as it has a way of sneaking up on you.

Serve, garnishing each bowl with a celery leaf.

Wine Pairing:

A well-chilled, low alcohol, white sparkling wine is the order of the day for this dish and anything short of PB&J in this weather.  We chose a sparkling chenin blanc, Nouveau-Nez, from Damien Delechenau, Domaine La Grange Tiphaine.

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