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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Watermelon Gazpacho

Ohmygosh, I am ready for summer!  When watermelon is plentiful, try this make-ahead and freezeable soup. 

The original Food & Wine recipe calls for a crab salad of sorts to go with the soup, but 1) ick and 2) the crab salad isn't prep-ahead friendly. 

The original recipe also calls for fresh lemongrass, but 1) puh-lease, I live in the Midwest and it's not something we find at the local Kroger and 2) it's a pain to work with anyway.  You can get tubes of lemongrass puree in the produce section of my grocery stores, so that's what I use.  Freeze the leftover puree in ice cube trays or a zip-top bag for other recipes.

Watermelon Gazpacho (makes 4 servings)

5 cups coarsely chopped seeded watermelon
2-3 tbsp lemongrass puree
3 tbsp finely chopped shallot
1 1/2 tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger
1 tbsp finely chopped garlic
1 1/2 tbsp mild olive oil
1 small hot green chile, such as Thai or serrano, finely chopped (seeded or not, depending on your preference)
2 tbsp fresh lime juice, or to taste
3/4 tsp salt, or to taste

Puree the watermelon in a blender or food processor and transfer to a bowl (don't wash out the blender).

Cook lemongrass, shallots, ginger, and garlic in olive oil over medium-low heat until golden, about 5 minutes.  Add about 1/3 of the watermelon puree and simmer over medium heat, stirring, for 5 minutes. 

Allow to cook slightly, then carefully transfer to the blender or food processor.  Add chile, lime juice and salt and blend until smooth.  Add remaining watermelon puree and blend.  Strain soup through a fine-mesh sieve, pressing on and discarding any solids.  Chill soup at least 2 hours before serving. Pin It

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