I didn’t discover gazpacho until my late teens, but I’ve been in love ever since. It’s the perfect meal for a hot summer day and you best believe that’s the norm here in North Carolina. In college, I worked at a catering company and I remember scrunching up my nose when I read gazpacho on the hor d’oeuvre menu. I had no clue what it was and when another waitress told me it was basically cold soup, I was a little weirded out by the idea. One of the chefs saw that whole interaction, pulled me aside, listed off the ingredients and gave me a sample. I was hooked. It really wasn’t what I was expecting at all. I thought it would taste like V8 and I really couldn’t imagine eating a whole bowl of it, but it turned out to be thinner and sweeter with a little pang of spice. Since my catering days, I’ve played around with a few different recipes so today I’ll share my favorite for sweltering summer days. Watermelon Dill Gazpacho with Coconut Lime Crema is almost like a treat instead of lunch. It’s slightly sweet, very light and refreshing and there’s no spice so you won’t be sweating over your cold soup
- Blender (I used a ninja)
- 1 cup cubed (very ripe) tomato
- 5 cups cubed watermelon
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 TBSP balsamic vinegar
- 1 cup peeled cucumber
- 2 TBSP fresh dill + more to garnish
- salt & pepper to taste
- Blend the tomato and watermelon until smooth. Add in the olive oil and vinegar and blend for an additional minute. Blend in the cucumber and dill for about a minute until incorporated, but not completely emulsified. Add salt and pepper to suit your tastes.
- Garnish with a sprig of dill and a slice of avocado and yellow sweet pepper if desired. I highly recommend serving the gazpacho with a dollop of coconut lime crema.
Coconut Lime Crema Ingredients:
- 1/2 cup raw cashews soaked for at least 4 hours
- 2 TBSP lime juice
- 1/4 cup + 1 TBSP coconut milk
- 1/4 cup cool water
- Pinch of salt
Coconut Lime Crema Recipe:
- Add the soaked cashews, lime juice, salt and water to the blender. Blend until smooth. Add the coconut milk and blend until creamy.
- Gently drip the coconut lime crema into the bowls immediately before serving.
I truly believe the coconut lime crema makes this dish. It adds a perfect creamy component to the chilled watermelon. It’s also a more familiar taste so you can really wrangle in any guests who tend to eat on the safe side. If you’re not in the mood to make the crema, garnish the gazpacho with slices of avocado and sprigs of dill. The contrasting colors in this dish make it a pretty party food. I love serving gazpacho in small servings at get togethers that way guests don’t have to commit to an entire bowl of unknown, ya know? It’s also fun to play around with different designs and patterns in each glass. This watermelon gazpacho will fly off the buffet before you have time to fill up more shot glasses. I’m actually eating a whole bowl of it as I type!