We’re making such a simple and glorious summer lunch today – gazpacho! I love a raw soup served cold on hot summer days, and even better when it’s as easy as this one. I’ve added watermelon to the mix with sun-ripened tomatoes, which gives it an extra burst of sweetness and hydration, plus tons of cucumbers, and a little pop of jalapeño! This recipe is great if you want to make it a day ahead and let the flavors meld overnight in the fridge.
½ sweet yellow or Vidalia onion, divided
1 red bell pepper, seeds & stem removed, divided
1 jalapeno, ribs & seeds discarded for less heat if desired, divided
6 ripe plum tomatoes (or 2-3 beefsteak), chopped
2 cups cubed seedless watermelon
1 medium English or seedless cucumber, peeled and chopped
2 small garlic cloves
¼ cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, stems reserved for garnish
2 tbsp mint leaves, plus 1 tbsp more for garnish
¼ cup olive oil, plus more for garnish
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
Juice of 2 limes
½ cup tomato juice
2 Persian cucumbers (or ½ English cucumber), finely chopped
•Roughly chop half the onion, red bell pepper and jalapeno and add to the bowl of a blender. Mince the remaining half of each and set aside for garnish.
•Add the tomatoes, watermelon, cucumbers, garlic, herbs, olive oil, vinegar, lime juice and tomato juice to the vegetables in the blender and puree until smooth and velvety. Taste for salt and acid, then cover and reserve in the refrigerator until ready to eat.
•Meanwhile, mince the tender stems of parsley and finely chop the additional tablespoon of mint and Persian cucumbers. Add to the other garnish items and toss to combine. Cover and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
•To serve, pour portions of soup into serving bowls and top with a generous pile of garnish, a drizzle of olive oil, and a sprinkle of flaky salt.