When it’s too hot to turn on the oven, gazpacho to the rescue! Loaded with vegetables and spiked with fresh lime and vinegar, this chilled summer soup is so refreshing. Note: It does require a fair amount of chopping but it yields a ton, and because there’s no cooking, it’s done when the chopping is complete.

A glass bowl filled with watermelon gazpacho.

Last month for two weeks in a row, I received watermelons in my CSA. Though they were small, I hesitated from cracking into them, fearing I wouldn’t finish them on my own. So I let them sit for a few days until I received a fortuitous email from the Fair Food Farmstand.

Emily Teel, the manager, sends an email each week listing the products the stand has in stock along with some seasonal recipes. When I saw the recipe for watermelon gazpacho, I set to work in the kitchen. Before too long, I had found a wonderful use for my two sugar baby watermelons, and produced a most delectable soup that I enjoyed, with the help of my sister, for the next few days.

While my sister and I slurped this minty, refreshing soup straight from the Tupperware containers I had packed it in, this gazpacho really deserves a more honorable presentation: The combination of colorful vegetables of all shapes and textures floating in a magenta base is truly striking. Served with a wedge of avocado and a sprig of mint in delicate bowls, this chilled soup is a refreshing and elegant summer meal.

How to Make Watermelon Gazpacho

Gather your ingredients and chop them up.

Ingredients to make watermelon gazpacho on a countertop.

Combine all of the ingredients into a large bowl and chill for at least 1 hour before serving.

A large bowl filled with watermelon gazpacho.

Garnish with chopped avocado, if you wish, and serve in small glasses…

Small glassed filled with watermelon gazpacho.

… or larger soup bowls.

A white bowl filled with watermelon gazpacho.

Watermelon + Feta

When I first saw feta paired with watermelon, I thought the combination seemed odd, and truthfully, not that appetizing. But sweet and salty ingredients often work nicely together, watermelon and feta being no exception. Only a few more weeks of watermelon season remain, so enjoy them while you can!

Watermelon and Feta Salad
Serves 1

4 slices watermelon
2 ounces feta cheese
2 slices Prosciutto di Parma
extra-virgin olive oil
aged balsamic vinegar or reduced balsamic (see recipe below)
kosher salt and pepper to taste

Place watermelon wedges on a plate. Crumble feta cheese over the watermelon. Lay the prosciutto aside the watermelon. Drizzle entire plate with olive oil, balsamic, salt and pepper to taste.

Reduced Balsamic
Yield = ¼ cup

½ cup Rainwater Madeira
1 cup commercial balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar

Place Madeira in a small saucepan and simmer over medium heat until reduced to about 1 tablespoon. Add the balsamic vinegar and boil until the vinegar has reduced to about ¼ cup and is very syrupy and big shiny bubbles are forming at the surface. Watch the mixture very closely at this point—it will burn easily. Remove from the heat and stir in the brown sugar until dissolved. Pour into a clean jar and cool before using.

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A glass bowl filled with watermelon gazpacho.

Watermelon Gazpacho

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Adapted from Emily Teel, manager of the Fair Food Farmstand in Philadelphia

Watermelon: You’ll need a watermelon large enough to give you 4 cups of diced fruit and 5 cups of purée. A small-ish watermelon should suffice.


  • 1 watermelon roughly 5 lbs, peeled, see notes above
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, diced (about 2 cups)
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded, diced (about 1.5 cup)
  • 1 pint yellow cherry or sungold tomatoes, halved (about 2 cups)
  • 1 small jalapeño chile, seeded, minced
  • 4 pale green inner celery stalks, diced (about 1 cup)
  • ½ small red onion, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1/3 cup fresh lime juice, from about 3 limes
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar (or any vinegar you have on hand)
  • 1 teaspoon flaky sea salt, such as Maldon, or more or less to taste
  • a few sprigs of mint
  • avocado, optional, for garnish
  • olive oil, optional, for garnish


  1. Puree enough watermelon in a blender or food processor to yield 5 cups watermelon purée. Dice enough watermelon to yield 4 cups. Transfer purée to a large bowl. Add the diced watermelon, cucumber, peppers, tomatoes, jalapeño, celery, onion, lime juice, 2 tablespoons of the vinegar, salt, and mint sprigs. Stir to combine. Taste. Adjust with more lime, vinegar, or salt to taste. Cover gazpacho and refrigerate until cold, at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours.
  2. Remove gazpacho from fridge. Taste. Adjust seasoning again if necessary. Divide gazpacho among bowls. If garnishing with the avocado, dice it up, and top each bowl with diced avocado. Drizzle with olive oil if you wish. 

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Mix, No-Cook
  • Cuisine: American