Happy September! Have ya'll noticed I got new dishes? This is just one of the many things new in my life right now. I just moved into a new place, have two new and astoundingly kind roommates, and started a new second job! It's been hectic, but I managed to find the time to sneak in one more super summer-y recipe with a nod to the upcoming fall season. I personally love soup, so it's a little upsetting that it's usually far too hot for soup in the summer. Thank goodness for gazpacho. This one is delicious and really simple to make.
I really enjoy veganizing traditional meals or finding interesting ways to make substitutes for non-vegan ingredients. It really can be fun. What I really love, though, is making a delicious meal that is naturally vegan and can be enjoyed by anyone without being scared away by 'weird' ingredients. This soup would be one of those fresh, delicious, naturally vegan meals. The base of this gazpacho is watermelon and tomatoes. Not only does this give the soup a very light taste and feel, but it also gives a marvelous pink color. For this soup, you really want to use good tomatoes and juicy watermelon. Any gritty fruits will, unfortunately, take away from the texture. To add to the refreshing quality of the soup, we're also using cucumber in the base. To add some depth to the very delicate flavors we have going on here, I also added a shallot and a habanero. You can adjust the spice level as desired, by adding more or less of the pepper. I like adding one entire habanero, but you can use half of one, or even two!
If you're timid of heat, fear not. We're going to balance out the spice with cilantro and lime. These two citrusy ingredients will also be incorporated into our watermelon-cucumber garnish. Aside from helping tone down the heat, this garnish will also add a bit of texture to the soup. This gazpacho is very light and can be served as an entree, but I would suggest a side. Personally, I think that some ciabatta with oil and herbs for dipping is a really lovely pairing. If you would like to keep things gluten-free, you could opt for a simple bean salad using navy beans or chickpeas. To keep things raw, but bulk this gazpacho up, consider adding some hemp seeds to the garnish for protein. I would recommend keeping your side on the fresh and simple side, nothing too heavy. Make this for a date, and bring a bottle of white wine! That's a side right? Regardless of what you choose, I would love to hear your pairings! Be sure to let us know in the comments. If you Instagram, tag us in your photos with @cookitkind or #cookitkind. I love seeing what you come up with!
Watermelon Habanero Gazpacho
My name is Ellen Jane and I spend my free time doing vegan experiments in my kitchen so you don't have to. Take a look around.