TOMATO, WATERMELON, & CUCUMBER GAZPACHO
This Andalusian soup is one of my favourite things to eat on a high summer's day. It’s served cold from the fridge, (with ice cubes in to keep it that way as you eat!), and is made from raw ingredients (or virtually raw in the case of the tomatoes). Because of this, it’s important that the ingredients that you use are super-fresh and at their perfectly ripe best…
- 800g ripe tomatoes
- 600g (cut weight) seedless watermelon – diced
- 1 small cucumber – peeled
- 4 spring onions – white part only, finely sliced
- 1 small garlic clove
- 100ml extra virgin olive oil
- 85 ml white balsamic vinegar
- Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
- Ice cubes to serve
- Flowering basil tips (to garnish, if available)
Begin by briefly blanching the tomatoes in a large pot of boiling water in order to loosen the skins. Only add the tomatoes to the blanching pot once the water is at a steady boil, and cook for just a couple of minutes.
Drain the tomatoes in a large colander and when cool enough to handle, slip off and discard the skins. Halve each tomato using a sharp knife and remove the seeds to a fine sieve, positioned atop a bowl – press the seeds to extract as much juice as possible. Next, roughly chop the flesh of the blanched tomatoes, and add this to the bowl containing the juice.
Halve the peeled cucumber lengthways and use a pointed teaspoon to remove the seeds. Roughly dice the flesh of the cucumber and add this also to the bowl containing the tomatoes.
Place the watermelon cubes in a blender or liquidiser (if your watermelon contains seeds, make sure to remove all of these before doing so). Then add the tomatoes and cucumber to the blender, along with the sliced spring onions, crushed garlic, olive oil, and vinegar.
Blend at high speed until completely smooth – no little bits should be visible and the texture should be thick and velvety.
Add a little salt and pepper to season, then blend again to combine. Taste the soup once you’ve done so, if it needs any further seasoning adjustment, or even a little more vinegar (the flavour should be every so slightly tangy), add it now...
Then pour into a bowl, cover, and refrigerate until completely chilled.
Serve in shallow bowls, with a few ice cubes plopped in each. Drizzle over a little oil olive, and garnish with flowering basil if you'd like.