Watermelon Gazpacho

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Chef Nathan Powers
Bambara – Salt Lake City

Serves 6–8

Note from the chef:
This soup consists of two separate components: the base of pureed and strained watermelon, cucumbers, onions and chilies; and the perfect medium dice of the melon, veggies and herbs floating in it. How much liquid you get from the puree can vary depending on the size of each melon, etc. The ratio of liquid to solids should be relatively even, with plenty of liquid and solids in each spoonful.

  1. Cut each watermelon in half and remove the skin. Cut one half of each watermelon into chunks and place the chunks in a large bowl. Reserve the other halves for later.
  2. Peel and cut each cucumber in half lengthwise and remove the pulp and seeds with a teaspoon. Reserve one half for later and cut the other half into chunks and put them in the bowl with the watermelon.
  3. Repeat Step 2 with the onion and red bell pepper.
  4. Squeeze the juice of 1-2 limes over the bowl of melon and veggies, and sprinkle it with 1-2 teaspoon of kosher salt. Cover and reserve for later.
  5. Using a sharp knife, cut the remaining halves of the melons, red onion, bell pepper and cucumbers into medium-dice pieces (½ x ½). Cut the fresno chile and jalapeno to a fine brunoise ( ⅛ x ⅛) with no seeds. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half or quarters, depending on size. Combine all ingredients from this step into a bowl and sprinkle them with a little kosher salt and cracked black pepper.
  6. Using a high-speed blender, puree the reserved melon and veggie mixture with all of the liquid that may have wept out of them. Add the tomato juice and continue to puree until smooth. Strain this mixture.
  7. To prepare the herbs, stack the leaves of each on top of each other and slice the stack into razor-thin, hair-like ribbons or chiffonade.
  8. Combine the herbs, pureed mixture and diced mixture in a large bowl and mix gently with a whisk.
  9. Whisk in the olive oil to give everything a shimmer. Season it with more salt, pepper and lime to taste. Chill.
  10. Serve in well chilled bowls with some of the herbs to garnish.