Friday, August 16, 2013

Cantaloupe Gazpacho

There's nothing like a cold bowl of gazpacho to cool one off on a hot summer day. Ok, maybe an air conditioner does a pretty good job, too, but you can't eat an air conditioner. :)

We had a couple of pretty large cantaloupes on hand and they were ripe. I figured we could eat one as-is, and do something, wasn't quite sure, with the other one. We also had a wilting red bell pepper in the fridge AND a cucumber, so I thought that was a sign to make gazpacho.

I checked the Interwebs for gazpacho recipes and most of them included tomatoes but excluded peppers. Bah - I'd just make up my own.

Cantaloupe Gazpacho

1 red bell pepper
1 medium cantaloupe
1 cucumber
slice or two of bread, crusts removed (optional)
sherry vinegar
champagne vinegar
pinch coriander
toasted pumpkin seeds
mint leaves
black walnut oil

Roast the bell pepper over a gas flame or under a broiler until charred in spots. Put in a paper bag or in a covered bowl and allow to cool. When cool enough to handle, remove as much skin as possible, stem and deseed the pepper and cut it into pieces.

Cut the cantaloupe in half and remove the seeds. Scoop out the flesh into the container of a blender. Add the red pepper pieces. Peel the cucumber, cut it into chunks, and stuff it into the blender with the other stuff.

Puree the fruit and vegetables. If it seems too watery, add some of the bread, broken into small pieces before pureeing, until the consistency is acceptable.

The soup will be sweet, so add as much or as little vinegar as you think it needs. I put in a tablespoon of both sherry and champagne vinegars, but you can use one or the other. I also added a pinch of ground coriander, but that's entirely up to you. If you prefer cumin, go for it.

Serve the soup well-chilled. Garnish with toasted pumpkin seeds, mint if you have it, and either a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, or black walnut oil. I like Hammons, which adds a whole new and interesting earthiness and is available at

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