Monday, June 23, 2014

MEATLESS MONDAY : GAZPACHO

 When I worked one summer in the Hamptons, as a waiter for one very rich man, I ate Gazpacho at least every other day. The man loved this soup so the chef prepared it fresh multiple times a week. And it was the best Gazpacho I ever had in my life. The chef did give me the recipes for all my favorite dishes, but I lost them somewhere in between traveling. I've been desperately trying hunt down the chef, but he is nowhere to be found. It has been 9 years since... But this soup still takes me back down the memory lane to my care-free life in Southampton beaches and parties. It's a soup with tons of memories. Therefore I tried to re-create it for this year's Midsummer festivities. It was not chef Thomas' Gazpacho, but it was still pretty darn good. Sweet and savory.

WATERMELON-TOMATO GAZPACHO

 5 cups seedless watermelon
2 cups tomatoes, chopped
1 shallot, chopped 
3 tablespoons olive oil 
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar 
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
salt, black pepper, paprika

Put the watermelon, tomatoes, shallots, oil, vinegar, cilantro and spices into a blender and puree until smooth. Transfer puree to a fine mesh strainer set over a large bowl and strain puree, pressing as much through as possible; discard solids. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour. Pour chilled soup into bowls or glasses and top with fresh, chopped cilantro. I used all my cilantro for the soup so I garnished with dried herbs and red pepper flakes instead to give it a nice kick. I also skipped a step and did not strain the soup, maybe that's why it's a bit darker in color.

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