Watermelon Gazpacho

driver-71There are  all kinds  and flavors of  gazpachos, the cold soup traditionally made with tomatoes. With the popularity of seedless watermelon, making the soup with the sweet melon, just got easier. Like all cold soups, this one tastes better if  chilled at least a couple of hours before serving. The secret ingredient that gives this soup its depth and sweetness  of flavor is the mint simple syrup.

12 cups cubed, seedless watermelon (about 3 to 4 pounds)

1 medium  cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped

1/4 cup chopped green onions, white party only

1/4 cup pomegranate juice

1/4 cup mint simple syrup (recipe follows)

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 teaspoon kosher salt

3/4 cup crumbled goat cheese

Fresh mint leaves, for garnish

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes, for the syrup

1. In a blender container, add half of the watermelon, cucumber, and pomegranate juice. Cover and blend until pureed. Pour into a large bowl. Continue with the remaining water- melon, cucumber, and pomegranate juice. Pour into the bowl with the  other mixture. Cover and chill at least 2 hours or overnight before serving.

To serve, ladle into chilled cups or bowls. Garnish each with 1 tablespoon crumbled goat cheese and mint leaves. Makes 10 to 12 servings.

To make Mint Simple Syrup:  In a medium saucepan, heat 1 cup water and 1 cup granulated sugar to a boil over high heat . Boil for 2 minutes, stirring until sugar is dissolved.  Remove from heat and add 1 bunch mint leaves. Cover and let stand until cool. Strain into a pint glass jar; discard the mint. Cover the jar and store in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks. Makes 1 pint.  This simple syrup makes more syrup than the gazpacho recipe requires.Use the extra syrup for sweetening iced tea and other beverages. Or, freeze in 1/4- cup amounts for making more of this soup.



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