Monday, July 19, 2010

Summer Comfort Food

Chicken noodle soup may be great for the soul, but what do you do when it’s 90+ degrees out and your soul still needs some comforting? Go to the ocean then bring on the watermelon gazpacho!

I am all about eating seasonally. But let’s be honest. Living in New England gives you about 4 months where you can do that unless you want to live off of snow. If I could eat summer food year round, I would be one happy girl. This recipe is everything wonderful about summer, and I plan to eat it until it’s time for butternut squash and apple crisp.

Big ups to my girlfriend Denise for this one. My friends and I have a friendly competition to see who can bring the best food to the beach. Yesterday Denise’s watermelon gazpacho was a slam dunk! I begged her for the recipe and made it today. I already had it for dinner, and plan to eat it for lunch all next week.

Watermelon Gazpacho
1 large tomato, chopped
2 cups cubed watermelon
1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup minced red onion
½ cucumber, seeded and minced
2 Tbsp. minced fresh dill
¼ cup toasted almonds, chopped small
Salt and pepper

With a hand stick blender puree tomato and the watermelon in a large bowl. Add vinegar and olive oil and pulse until blended. Add the onion, cucumber, dill and almonds and season with salt and pepper. Puree a little bit more. I like to add extra chunks of watermelon and cucumber at the end so the soup has more texture. Chill at least an hour before serving. We like a sprinkle of feta and a little diced black olive as a garnish. Enjoy!!!!

The recipe is great, and simple. I had planned to use a stick blender like Denise, but I didn’t read the directions and dumped everything into a big pot and the immersion blender didn’t stand a chance. I dropped it all into a regular old blender and let it rip!

I took Denise’s advice and sprinkled chopped cucumber, watermelon, and feta on top. I also added some spicy shrimp. I took cooked shrimp, chopped them up and dusted them in Adobo and chili powder. A little bit of spice was fantastic.

I can’t say enough about this gazpacho. It is phenomenal! And not having to cook in this weather? Amazing.