The tomato is the one fruit that I do not eat in its raw form until the heat of the summer sun has formally drenched by body from head to toe. Having spent every summer of my life in Italy, the humble tomato took on a flavor that was unrecognizable at any other time of year. A perfect blend of sweet and tart, the flavor of a ripe summer tomato is like candy! In honor of summer, I like to prepare this gazpacho recipe direct from the talented Yotam Ottolenghi. I love it for its food as medicine benefits, by including watermelon, we are doubling down on the dose of lycopene from not only the tomato but also this other summer staple. Together, these two flavors work their magic in creating the perfect health promoting summer dish. Enjoy!
2 kg ripe tomatoes (about 20), peeled and roughly chopped (1.9kg net)
5 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
6 celery stalks, pale parts and leaves, all roughly chopped (450g net)
1 small onion, roughly chopped (140g net)
400g watermelon flesh, seeds removed
100g crustless white bread, broken into small chunks
150ml tomato passata (or tomato juice)
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
200ml olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
15g basil leaves
Coarse salt and black pepper
- Place the tomatoes, garlic, celery, onion, watermelon, bread, passata and 10 grams of basil in a blender or large bowl along with 1½ teaspoon of salt and a good grind of black pepper. Blend until smooth and then, with the blender still going, add the vinegar and olive oil. Refrigerate until needed.
- To serve, pour the soup into individual bowls and top with the croutons. Tear the remaining basil and sprinkle it on top of each portion, along with a final drizzle of oil. Finish with a little sea salt and serve at once.