When my husband and I first moved to South Africa, I struggled with the heat. I got there and felt sticky and full all the time, so the idea of eating food, let alone cooking it, was anything but appealing (don't worry, that changed, and some great recipes came out of our time there). Obviously sustenance was still required, so I looked up and started experimenting with various cold soups. Gazpacho is a classic, and living right in the middle of South Africa's food belt the watermelons were huge and beautiful and sweet and seemingly always available. What could be more natural than combining these two, producing watermelon gazpacho?
1/2 of a medium sized watermelon
1 medium onion
3 cloves of garlic (Beware: I am normally all for super-garlicking everything, but in this case it is overpowering. Start slow and add more if necessary,)
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
A handful of basil leaves
Salt and pepper
1 slice of bread (Optional)
1) Roughly chop all ingredients and blend - the consistency is up to you. Season to taste - you may need to add a little extra balsamic, depending on how sweet your watermelon is.
2) If your gazpacho appears too thin, blend in the slice of bread.
3) Chill and serve - good with croûtons.
I find this soup to provide a refreshing and very light lunch, perfect for a hot day (we're in the middle of a heat wave now!) Since coming back from South Africa, watermelons are less plentiful, but whenever they are available this soup makes it back into rotation.