I’ve been dreaming about tomato season for the past couple of months, watching my tomato plants grow their plump green fruits, feeding them juices from my wormery and waiting impatiently for them to turn ruby-red and golden yellow in the warm summer sun. I’ve been watching them every day, visiting our green house with Fern and repeatedly telling her ”No, not yet! We have to wait until they’re red. Wait..Not that one!” Teaching her patience in the garden is hard when I’m feeling impatient myself ; ) Though she is quickly learning that now we have our first ripe tomatoes, that the red ones taste way better than the tart green ones and are rewarded with much glee from me when she picks the right one. Now I just have to keep her away from the apple tree. How frustrating it must be for her seeing all those tempting tree fruits!
So this recipe was born out of my impatience for the tomato bounty to set in and eating my Heirloom tomato gazpacho for days and months until I’m happy to put my tomato soup obsession to rest for another year. In my opinion, when life gives you tomatoes, make gazpacho. And that is what we do from August through to the end of September when I’ll be gathering the last of the unripe tomatoes and making chutney. I don’t think I’d ever tried a cold-soup until I first made this, but what you have is the most refreshing, vibrant bowl of summer goodness that hits the spot every time.
So why I am I going on about tomatoes when this recipe is calling for watermelon?! Well, after collecting our first few tomatoes but having not quite enough to make into my beloved soup, I had this light-bulb moment recalling a gazpacho made with watermelon instead of tomatoes. After a little research, it seems it certainly is a thing, and as I had a huge juicy watermelon in my fridge and just a handful of tomatoes, it was time to manifest this soup. So today, if life isn’t giving you quite enough tomatoes and you just can’t wait, make watermelon gazpacho! (and keep dreaming about the tomato version you will be making in a week or so time).
Serves 4. Notes- I like to make this soup at least a few hours or up to a day in advance as it really does benefit from chilling and leaving the flavours to hang out together for a while. It also makes a great packed lunch. Just throw into a big jar and pack with ice, and you’ll have the coolest picnic lunch on the go. Lastly, make sure too include the white part of the melon just under the green skin. It is full of juice and tastes like cucumber (and is full of the amino acid citrulline, also known as natures viagra!)
Take your watermelon and cut the amount you are using in half. Place one half into a blender with the lemon juice, clove of garlic, vinegar, cumin and oil. Blend until smooth, then add half of the mint and basil. Pulse briefly but be careful not to over blend or the mixture will turn brown instead of a nice pink colour.