I was about to make my favorite juice of cucumber, celery, watermelon, mint and lemon juice.
And while I was looking at the cut vegetables and fruits I just decided to try and make a dish using them instead of juicing. This is how the idea was born.
I made a simple, green gazpacho using the celery and cucumber, added some chopped white onion, garlic clove and mint. Seasoned generously with salt, a little bit of lemon juice and a pinch of ground black pepper and emulsified with extra virgin olive oil.
I wanted to keep the clean freshness of the cucumber and celery. Why? Because of the grilled watermelon. In case you never grilled watermelon before I highly recommend you try it.
It changes its taste drastically, also the texture is modified. The sugar gets caramelized and intensifies the flavor. It is the richness of the grilled watermelon that made me keep the gazpacho light and not to season it heavily. During grilling I seasoned the watermelon with some salt and cayenne pepper. The touch of heat was so yummy in the sweet, rich watermelon.
To make the soup creamier, instead of drizzling the almond cream, blend it completely with the prepared gazpacho.
If you want to keep the soup raw you will have to skip grilling the watermelon. This will however change the taste completely. If you have a vacuum sealer, you can vacuum the watermelon, it will get compressed and its taste will also intensify and the texture will be modified too. This is a good way to make this soup entirely raw but also add something extra to the watermelon.
For garnishing in both soup I used the leaves and blossoms of anise hyssop and mint oil.
Anise hyssop has a bit of anise taste so if you don’t like that or just can’t find the herb, mint is a perfect replacement.
Hope you enjoy the version that suits your diet and celebrate the summer with this beauty!
Ingredients (yields 4)
- 5 cucumbers
- 5 celery stalks (depending on the size and how much celery taste you like in the soup)
- 1 thick slice of watermelon
- 1 white onion
- 2 small garlic cloves
- 1/3C extra virgin olive oil
- salt, lemon juice, ground black pepper
- 4 tbsp almond cream
- 4 slices of watermelon, keep the rind on while grilling
- olive oil, salt, cayenne pepper
- Chop all the vegetables, season with olive oil, salt, black pepper and let it sit in a bowl for 30 minutes.
- Transfer to blender and blend to chunky consistency.
- Continue blending on medium speed with adding the olive oil. Taste and season with salt, black pepper and a little bit of lemon juice. Pour in a container and keep in the fridge to make sure it is cold when serving.
- Grill the watermelon just before eating the soup. It will be the best warm, off the grill with the cold gazpacho.
- Brush both sides of the watermelon with olive oil. Season very lightly with salt.
- Grill one side. While grilling, season it with cayenne pepper lightly, only on the second side.
- Flip the watermelon and grill the cayenne pepper seasoned side too.
- For plating pour the soup in shallow bowls, drizzle the almond cream in spots, add small cubes or triangles of grilled watermelon an sprinkle some chopped anise hyssop or mint or even basil over the soup.