This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
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.
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.
Combine all of the ingredients into a large bowl and chill for at least 1 hour before serving.
Garnish with chopped avocado, if you wish, and serve in small glasses…
… or larger soup bowls.
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
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.
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.Print
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 4 quarts
- Diet: Vegan
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
- 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.
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
Keywords: watermelon, gazpacho, chilled, summer, soup
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
16 Comments on “Watermelon Gazpacho”
I recognize those cherry tomatoes and that watermelon crate…Yay for Rineer Family Farms! I am fond of them. 🙂 I know their prices are on the higher side — although they’re not as expensive as a couple other places I can think of! — but their produce is generally such high quality.
However, as colorful as the cherry tomatoes are, I don’t really like them. So no watermelon gazpacho for me. I’m mildly curious about the watermelon with feta, though. Mostly, I’m just excited about buying another melon today (probably a just-my-size Sugar Baby) to snarf down by itself!
No cherry tomatoes for Joanna??!! Well, you could just substitute the tomatoes with more chunks of watermelon. Maybe? I never got to try it, but Everyday Gourmet served a version of watermelon gazpacho, which contained zero tomatoes. I actually heard about how amazing the soup was from one of the volunteers at the Fair Food Farmstand, but I don’t remember his name.
Definitely try the watermelon and feta!
My Summer guests first request your beyond wonderful watermelon gazpacho recipe before even asking for Maine lobster. Once again, perfection – with forever thanks.
Oh Kathleen, this makes me so happy. One my oldest, most favorite recipes on this site. Thank you.
Question: can this be made without tomatoes?
Thanks and xo
No worries! And yay for you being there in September!! So fun. I was wondering who had signed up. I need to check with Matthew. Hope all is well xoxo
Woops, I now see your earlier response to Joanna.
See you in September, can’t wait!
The gazpacho was delicious! Can it be frozen?
So great to hear, Sherri! I have never frozen this, so I can’t say for sure. I worry a little bit because everything is raw, and I worry that the tomatoes in particular just won’t look/taste as fresh and as vibrant. Epicurious is telling me that gazpacho can indeed be frozen, but I think that’s the more traditional, puréed tomato-based variety.
My gut is saying no to freezing in order to preserve the nice texture. If the yield is too much here, you absolutely can halve it next time. Thanks for writing!
Thank you for the quick reply. Have a great week!
I will absolutely serve this watermelon gazpacho at my next dinner party. My mouth is already watering. Alexandra, your imagination is boundless. Thank you so much
Hope you love it! Thank you for writing 🙂
I’ve been making this since you first posted the recipe. All my guests love it as does my family–everyone wants the recipe. It’s such a pretty color and so, so fresh in its flavors. I tend not to add the cherry tomatoes because I rarely find truly tasty ones, but I would if I had them. I also choose not to add the celery—I only note this because the gazpacho is delicious, and the recipe flexible to take into account the quality of your produce and one’s personal palate. In any form, it says late summer in the best way.
So nice to hear all of this 🙂 🙂 🙂
Colorful, cool, and refreshinh
Great to hear, Dorothy! Thanks so much for writing 🙂 🙂 🙂