Watermelon and Sweet Onion Gazpacho - Recipe

Watermelon Gazpacho
Watermelon and Sweet Onion Gazpacho

You've probably had a tomato and watermelon salad. That combination seems to be all the rage now, and it emphasizes the fact that tomatoes are a fruit, not a vegetable. So why not go the other direction, and put watermelon to work in a soup that is traditionally made with tomatoes?

Like regular gazpacho, this is embarassingly easy to make. Five minutes of active time and then just let it chill down and serve at your leisure.

I took my friend Aseem's suggestion to add avocado to gazpacho, but used it as a chunky garnish instead of pureeing it in. The creamy texture makes a nice counterpoint to the watermelon. 

This soup has a tendency to separate fairly quickly. You can simply stir it just before serving, but if you want it to hold for more than a couple of minutes, an easy solution is to use a tiny bit of xanthan gum (readily available at health food type stores that serve gluten-free bakers, or on Amazon). I've explained how in the recipe. Mixing it with the salt first makes it easier to disperse without clumping.

Watermelon and Sweet Onion Gazpacho
Vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free
Yields about 4 cups / serves 4 

  • 5 cups cubed seedless watermelon
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1 gram) xanthan gum (optional)
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil plus additional for garnish
  • 1/2 minced jalapeno plus additional for garnish
  • 1/2 cup minced sweet onion (such as Walla Walla)
  • 2 tablespoons tightly packed cilantro leaves plus additional for garnish
  • 1/2 avocado, diced (cut just before serving to avoid browning, or toss with lime juice)
  1. Put the watermelon in the jar of a blender. Whisk together salt and xanthan gum, then sprinkle the mixture over the watermelon. (If not using the xanthan gum, just add the salt to the watermelon.) Add the lime juice and olive oil. Cover and puree briefly, retaining a little bit of texture.
  2. If using the xanthan gum, let stand 10 minutes to allow it to hydrate, then puree again very briefly.
  3. Add the jalapeno, onion and cilantro and run the blender just for a few seconds to mix. Refrigerate until chilled, at least 1 hour. Stir, taste and adjust seasoning.
  4. To serve, divide among serving bowls or glasses and garnish with a drizzle of olive oil, avocado, jalapeno and cilantro and serve immediately.

 

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Posted by Michael Natkin on Monday, August 15th, 2011 in Experiments, Gluten-Free or modifiable, Kid Friendly, Recipes, Soups, Vegan or Modifiable.

12 Responses to “Watermelon and Sweet Onion Gazpacho - Recipe”

  1. August 15, 2011 at 5:26 pm #

    Painful when the recipe doesn’t do justice to the flavor of the food. :) This soup sounds perfect for Summer. Thanks for sharing your inventive recipes!

  2. August 17, 2011 at 2:38 am #

    never tried this soup before but it looks delicious. This is a must try. Love your photo.

  3. August 17, 2011 at 5:21 am #

    This is a pretty interesting recipe because of the watermelon… :) The photo made me want to try it now, too! :)

  4. August 19, 2011 at 10:06 am #

    Sounds great! The sweetness from the melon and the heat from the peppers would work well together. Never really had cold soups though. I know, not even gazpacho (which I think is a sin since I love to cook and love food.)

    Thanks for the recipe!

    Crystal Lee
    The Lee Craft Table
    link to leecrafts.blogspot.com

  5. ben
    August 20, 2011 at 7:37 pm #

    Michael, you’ve done it again! even my mother who does not like watermelon asked for more! The others all enjoyed it too. One even writing down the recipe. I’ll send her the link too, one can never have too many followers!

    By the way, i didn’t use the “gum” it seemed like why use an additive (well, i understand why). it didn’t hurt to have a delicious watermelon to make it with. great flavors.

    oh, i also made the chickpea cakes and the tomato jam (i hope those titles are correct). They were so good last year when i made them and they were enjoyed just as much this time.

    Thanks again for another delicious creation.

    ben

  6. Michael Natkin
    August 21, 2011 at 7:45 am #

    Thanks, Ben! I'm glad your mom liked it, too.

  7. August 21, 2011 at 10:08 am #

    I love the idea to use xanthan gum — I didn’t know it was readily available, and it would be so handy to keep things blended. Thanks for the tip!

  8. September 23, 2011 at 11:47 am #

    My wife loves gazpacho and always wants to make it, but I hate tomatos so we never do. But I do love watermelon, so this will be perfect! She will be so impressed! Thank you for sharing this recipe, I cannot wait to try it out tonight!

  9. John
    June 18, 2013 at 5:41 pm #

    Loved this. Made it without the xanthan, and it was a bit too watery; next time, I’d include the xanthan. I also used more avocado (about a whole small avocado). And while I really liked the flavor overall, I tried a small addition once I’d eaten half: I tossed in a little generic chili powder (i.e., the stuff you make “chili con carne” with, not the stuff called “chili” in some indian cookbooks, which is more like Cayenne). The amount I used was probably the equivalent of 1.5t in the whole recipe. I found I really liked the addition. I was also instructed that “This goes on the ‘things to make all summer’ list, John!” by my wife, so I guess she agrees. :)

    • June 18, 2013 at 6:49 pm #

      The chili powder sounds like a nice addition. I know exactly the stuff you mean. Xanthan is great for things like this where you just want to reduce syneresis without thickening it unduly.

  10. John
    July 14, 2013 at 11:29 am #

    I’ve made it twice more now. I think that for a single batch, I’d add about 1t – 1T Chili powder, depending on taste. I also found that by putting about 1/3 of the stuff in the blender and running it (on low speed), with the blender top open, I could sprinkle in the salt/xanthan nicely so that there was no “clumping”.

    One more thought: although I really liked this, I found it too sweet. I think I might try adding a cucumber next time just to reduce the concentration of sweetness; if I did so, it’d go in last, and get relatively little blending, so it’d retain some “crunch” as well.

    • July 16, 2013 at 11:00 am #

      Those variations all sound great to me! And yes, hydrating the xanthan by sprinkling it into the vortex of the running blender is a great way to do it.

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