Watermelon gazpacho is a refreshing and summery raw soup. It takes just minutes to whip up and is perfect for the hottest summer days when you definitely do no want to turn on the oven!
What is watermelon gazpacho?
Watermelon gazpacho is a variation on the classic and well-known Andalusian tomato gazpacho.
Gazpacho is a cold soup served in the summertime and made from olive oil, vinegar, water, and raw vegetables - typically tomatoes, cucumber, green pepper, onion and garlic.
That being said, there is no set recipe for gazpacho and variations on ingredients are possible (but within limits before it ceases to be gazpacho!).
Fruit gazpachos are especially popular in Spain and watermelon gazpacho recipes (gazpacho de sandía) are easy to find on the internet.
However, if you speak Spanish, you’ll notice how different Spanish and American watermelon gazpacho recipes are!
American food bloggers tend to add a lot of weird things that you’d never find in any Spanish recipe like jalapeños, tomato juice, celery, various herbs, Tabasco sauce, and red onion.
Spanish recipes for watermelon gazpacho are much simpler and truer to their roots. I mean, seriously, you’re not making a bloody Mary, you don’t need all that stuff!
My husband is Spanish and we live in Spain. My recipe for watermelon gazpacho was directly adapted from his family’s tomato gazpacho recipe.
It’s refreshing, light, not spicy (very important!), easy to make and economical. Just like how authentic Spanish gazpacho should be!
Is gazpacho soup healthy?
Gazpacho is very healthy. Since it’s packed with vegetables, it’s a great source of vitamins C, A and E, carbohydrates, and minerals such as iron, calcium, magnesium, and zinc.
In addition, gazpacho is rich in antioxidants thanks to the lycopene in the tomatoes, as well as carotenoids.
Gazpacho is rich in fibre and low in calories. Generally speaking, 100 ml of gazpacho contains between 44 and 55 kcal.
You’ll need just a few simple and easily-available ingredients to make this refreshing summer soup!
Tomatoes: The most important ingredient of any gazpacho are the tomatoes. Make this recipe in the summer or early fall when tomatoes are in season. Choose fresh, juicy tomatoes that are more fleshy than watery. Roma, beefsteak or heirloom tomatoes will work.
Watermelon: Get a nice, ripe watermelon. Watermelons can be difficult to choose but there is lots of information available online about choosing the best watermelon.
Apple: This is a secret that not many people know about. A slice of apple adds a nice touch of sweetness and is especially good in fruity gazpachos like this one. I’ve seen gazpacho recipes calling for sugar, but an apple is much healthier and tastier. Choose a sweet variety like Fuji.
Cucumber: The most commonly available cucumber in Spain is the field cucumber, or slicer. Long English cucumbers are not so common. Choose a field cucumber, peel it and scoop out the seeds.
Green Pepper: In Spain we use cubanelle peppers, also known as Italian frying peppers. They have a thinner flesh than bell peppers. If you can’t find a cubanelle, you can substitute a regular green bell pepper.
Onion: Only use white onion in gazpacho. Red onion can discolour your gazpacho. Not every recipe includes onion as it can be a bit strong. Feel free to leave it out if you don’t like raw onion.
Garlic: Every gazpacho needs garlic. Just one clove is enough.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil: I highly recommend choosing a good quality olive oil since the flavour is important. Articles have been written about choosing the olive oil to pair with the type of tomato, but we usually use arbequina for everything. Don’t worry if you don’t have arbequina, just choose a nice one.
Vinegar: Sherry vinegar is the vinegar of choice for gazpacho. You can substitute red wine vinegar or white wine vinegar.
Salt: Despite the watermelon, this is a savoury not a sweet dish and is seasoned with salt.
How to make watermelon gazpacho
The beauty of gazpacho is how simple it is to make. Since it needs to be chilled, you need to make it ahead of when you need it. However, the active time necessary to make it is short and sweet!
- Preparation: Wash and prep your vegetables. Core the tomatoes and apple. Remove the stem and seeds from the green pepper. Peel and scoop the seeds out of the cucumber. Peel the onion and garlic. Remove the rind from the watermelon. Roughly chop everything.
- Blend the reds: Start by blending the tomatoes, watermelon and apple together. Place a fine mesh strainer over a large bowl and pour in the contents of the blender. Use a spoon to gently help the liquid pass through the strainer while catching the seeds and skin in the strainer.
- Blend the greens: Now toss the green pepper, cucumber, onion and garlic into the blender. These vegetables have less water than the tomatoes so add a couple ladles of the blended tomato-watermelon liquid to get the blender going. Once everything is blended smoothly, add the remaining tomato-watermelon mixture back to the blender.
- Season: Add the vinegar and salt. With the blender running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Keep the blender running for a couple minutes to emulsify the oil and make the soup creamy.
- Refrigerate: Once the soup is creamy, pour it back into your large bowl and place it in the fridge for several hours to chill.
- Adjust: Before serving, taste the gazpacho. Since the flavours mellow as it chills, you may want to add a touch more salt or vinegar to the soup.
Recipe variations and substitutions
A slice of bread: Gazpacho is often thickened with white bread. If you’re used to making gazpacho with bread, you can add a slice of bread, crusts removed, and ideally day-old bread. Choose a crusty or artisanal white loaf. Don’t use Wonder Bread or something with a lot of additives. If using bread, you can reduce the amount of olive oil if you want.
Other types of fruit: As I mentioned above, there are many variations of fruit gazpachos in Spain. You can substitute the watermelon for cantaloupe, peaches, cherries, or strawberries. Keep in mind you may need to add a splash of water to reach the right consistency since these other fruits have less water content than watermelon.
Garnishes: Try not to go overboard with the garnishes but if you want to add a little something on top, try diced watermelon and cucumber, a sprig of mint, or croutons.
Omit the onion: If the idea of raw onion is too strong for you, feel free to leave out the onion altogether.
Tomatoes for gazpacho should be in season, very ripe and juicy. Look for a tomato that has a lot of juicy flesh and less water. Roma, beefsteak, vine or heirloom tomatoes will all work.
No, omg, don’t do that! They’re practically two different products. Canned tomatoes are sour and not at all the right flavour for fresh gazpacho soup.
No, despite the addition of watermelon, this gazpacho is still savoury. It’s the type of gazpacho that Spanish people describe as suave, or soft, because it has a less pronounced vegetable flavour than a standard gazpacho, but it’s not sweet.
This gazpacho recipe is gluten free. While lots of recipes call for bread, it is not a required ingredient and you will find many Spanish recipes without it. That’s because olive oil is used as a thickener instead of bread.
No, gazpacho is never spicy. Gazpacho is meant as a cool and refreshing summertime dish. You should never put jalapeños, serrano chiles, or Tabasco sauce in gazpacho. These additional are totally inauthentic to classic Spanish gazpacho.
No, you don’t have to peel the tomatoes before making gazpacho. To remove the seeds and skin, the blended tomatoes are passed through a strainer. This also removes the foam that can form when blending vegetables. Gazpacho should never be foamy.
No, you don’t specifically need a seedless watermelon. Authentic Spanish gazpacho is usually strained and not chunky. This recipe calls for straining the blended tomatoes and watermelon to remove the seeds.
Make ahead and storage tips
How long will watermelon gazpacho last in the fridge? Watermelon gazpacho will last up to five days in an airtight container in the fridge. The vinegar and salt act as preservatives but the gazpacho will start to loose the freshness of its flavour after a few days.
Can you freeze gazpacho? Yes, you can freeze gazpacho in a freezer-safe container for up to three months. Since this gazpacho is blended smooth, it retains a nice consistency after being frozen and thawed. I don’t recommend freezing chunky gazpachos as the chunks of vegetables will go mushy.
What to serve with it
I have a wide variety of Spanish recipes on this blog if you’re looking to make it a tapas or Spanish-inspired meal!
- Spanish Spinach Croquettes
- Pan con Tomate
- Vegan Tortilla de Patata
- Garlic Mushrooms
- Pisto (Spanish ratatouille)
- Padrón Peppers
- Mushroom Fideuà (like paella but with noodles)
Of course gazpacho is always great served with some crusty bread and a nice green salad for a light lunch or dinner.
Or serve this watermelon gazpacho as an appetizer to a hearty main dish.
- 600 grams (21 oz) ripe juicy tomatoes (about 3 large)
- 600 grams (21 oz) watermelon (weight after removing the rind)
- ½ a sweet red apple, remove core
- ½ a medium cucumber, peeled and seeds scooped out
- ½ a medium green pepper (In Spain we use cubanelle / Italian frying peppers but you can sub a green bell), seeds removed
- ⅛ of a medium white onion
- 1 clove of garlic
- ¼ cup (60 ml) extra virgin olive oil
- 3 teaspoons sherry vinegar (can sub red or white wine vinegar), plus more to taste
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Optional garnishes: diced cucumber, diced watermelon, mint, micro greens, olive oil, croutons, etc.
- Remove the core from the tomatoes and roughly chop them. Also roughly chop the watermelon and apple. Add them all to a blender and liquefy. Transfer to a fine mesh strainer over a bowl to remove the seeds and pulp.
- Now roughly chop the cucumber, green pepper, onion and garlic and toss them into the blender. Add a couple ladles of the tomato-watermelon mixture if necessary to get the blender going. Blend until smooth then return the remaining tomato-watermelon mixture to the blender.
- Add the vinegar and salt and then, with the blender running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Leave the blender running for 2 – 3 minutes to emulsify the oil.
- Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate for a couple of hours until chilled. Now this is important: taste it and add more vinegar or salt if you think it’s necessary. The flavours can sometimes mellow a bit as it chills.
- Serve plain or with your favourite garnishes.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1 bowl
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 519Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 56mgSodium: 925mgCarbohydrates: 48gFiber: 5gSugar: 19gProtein: 21g