Photograph by Joseph De Leo Food Styling by Maggie Ruggiero

Gazpacho Water

Starters from Issue 1 – Summer 2012 – Float

The traditional Andalusian-born variety made from ripe tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers and garlic, gets a thoroughly modern remix thanks to watermelon, lime and jalapeños. With a gossamer-light consistency as delicate as its pale blush hue, soup doesn’t get much more summer-ready than this crisp, savory concoction.

serves 4 to 6

  • 3 large beefsteak tomatoes (about 3 lbs)
  • 1 English cucumber, peeled
  • 1 jalapeño
  • 2 ½ lb seedless watermelon (about 5 cups, cubed)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • few cracks black pepper
  • cheesecloth
  • 2 limes, to finish
  • good quality, fruity olive oil, to finish

  • 1

    Coarsely chop the tomatoes, cucumber, jalapeño (with seeds), and watermelon. Purée in a food processor, in batches if necessary, until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the salt and pepper. Set aside for about thirty minutes to allow the flavors to develop.

  • 2

    Pour purée into a large bowl lined with two layers of cheesecloth. Gather the edges of the cheesecloth and secure with a piece of kitchen twine or an elastic band. Tie the bundle to a wooden spoon and suspend across a deep bowl so that the bundle hovers above, and the water gathers below. Place in the fridge or a cool corner and drain for about 4 hours.

  • 3

    Serve very cold with a good squeeze of fresh lime juice and small drizzle of olive oil.

  • 4

    Once the liquid has drained, discard the bundle and give the water a stir. Taste and add a little salt if necessary.