“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.”
― Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own
One of a belle’s most sacred gifts is the ability to cook. Food truly is the best way to bring people together, and thus, with the holiday weekend upon us, I wanted to give all y’all an easy & cheap way to mix up you backyard barbecue this year: soup!
I love soup. Hot soup, cold soup. Soup in a square bowl, soup in a bread bowl. Dark colored soups, light colored soups. All of them. All of the soups.
This recipe is from the book Tasting Table. It’s from chef Jason Fox from his restaurant, Commonwealth, in San Fran. From start to finish it’ll take you about an hour to make, and the best part is that you can get everything you need at Kroger (without using your Plus Card) for under $30.00 (this is making the recipe as outlined below, which will serve 4).
So here y’all go…
~ Watermelon Gazpacho ~
How long it’ll take: Max 1 hr prep. 4 hrs refrigeration time before serving.
How many y’all be able to serve: 4
What y’all need:
– 1 medium size bowl
– 1 large bowl
– fine-mesh strainer
What goes in it:
8 cups chopped seedless watermelon (also 1/2 cup finely diced watermelon for garnish)
1/2 loaf (or 4 cups) of country bread (I used whole wheat, just make sure the bread is fairly heavy), crust removed and torn into small pieces
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil (plus more for drizzling)
1/3 cup tomato juice
1/3 cup water
1 tablespoon sherry cooking wine (yes, they will ID you for this at Kroger, 18+ only)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (I probably used closer to a full teaspoon)
Salt to taste
1 baguette cut into rounds (for garnish)
Paprika to taste (for serving)
How it’s made:
1. Puree the 8 cups watermelon in your blender. Pass that through your fine-mesh strainer into your medium bowl. (I found that doing a little at a time worked best because the strainer would get clogged up with the pulp that was left behind. Also, if you shake the strainer side to side, you’ll get more out of your melon.) Discard the pulp left behind.
2. Pour remaining, pulp free, watermelon juice into your blender. Add your bread, olive oil, tomato juice, water, lemon juice, and cayenne. Puree this mix until smooth. Strain into your large bowl (using the same hints in Step 1). Season to taste with salt (I didn’t add any to mine).
3. Cover your bowl and refrigerate for 4 hours, or until well chilled (I did mine over night). Y’all can make this as many as two days in advance.
4. When serving, divide your gazpacho into 4 bowls. Garnish each bowl with a bread round from your baguette. Top your bread rounds with 2 tablespoons of the finely diced watermelon. Drizzle your olive oil on the gazpacho, dust with your paprika, and serve. (I also put olive oil on the melon topped bread rounds to rave reviews).
5. Eat up!
To make this a meal, I’d suggest adding light sandwiches (i.e. cucumber and sour cream and/or pimento cheese), salad, or fruit salad. Cucumber and lime infused water makes an excellent compliment as well.
Enjoy, y’all! Have a happy, safe, and relaxing Labor Day Weekend. Don’t forget to hit those sales!
Belle of the Law
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