Green Herb & Cantaloupe Gazpacho
Gazpacho, salmorejo, ajo blanco, vichyssoise, borsch—cold soups, like this Green Herb & Cantaloupe Gazpacho, are an obsession of mine. They reminds me of summer in southern Spain, sixteen years old, tan, in love, and dumb. I tasted my first gazpacho in Cadiz at a café by the sea, certain the Italian man sitting across from me was more than a summer fling. He, for the record, was not. It would only be my love of cold soup that would endure.
This recipe, a riff on a classic tomato gazpacho, isn’t overly sweet, rather it’s bright, fruity, herbaceous, and thoroughly savory. And it’s worth mentioning that it’s quick, easy, and makes virtually no dirty dishes. The cantaloupe’s sweetness brings out the sweetness in the pepper and tomatoes, and an English cucumber with two generous handfuls of fresh herbs, mint and basil, make it addictively refreshing. Read on for the recipe as well as 10 Tips for Making the Best Gazpacho (even without a recipe)!
What is Gazpacho?
Gazpacho is a cold soup from Andalusia, Spain—a traditional gazpacho recipe is tomato based, usually with cucumber, onion, sweet peppers, sherry vinegar, and olive oil. Salmorejo is a heartier version that’s made with bread and tomatoes (and topped with boiled eggs, so good), and ajo blanco is a white gazpacho made with almonds, garlic, and often green grapes (a personal favorite!) At this point, however, the word “gazpacho” has become a catch all for all sorts of riffs on cold soup (such as this green herb & cantaloupe gazpacho!)
The Gazpacho Detox
I think of cold soups and gazpachos as something between smoothies and juice and do a Gazpacho Detox in the summer because they’re full of vegetables, healthy fats, and fruit so it’s a great way to detox with out deprivation. I make 2-3 different flavors at a time (usually a couple of different tomato based ones and a green based one), store them in the fridge, and eat them whenever I’m hungry for a week or so along with loads of lemony water. It’s basically drinkable salad, so gazpacho makes for the perfect choice for when you want to get your glow back after too many rosé summer nights.
Add the Green Magic
If you want to add extra healing properties to your cold soups, add a spoonful of your favorite adaptogen or a blend, like reishi or ashwaghanda. Another super powered ingredient I’m loving is this Wonder Valley X Lily CBD olive oil I just bought, great for drizzling on top of this green herb & cantaloupe gazpacho! Here are a few pointers on getting the most out of your cold soups & gazpachos, whether this recipe or your own.
10 Tips for Making the Best Gazpacho
(without a recipe!)
Use the freshest, seasonal produce you can score.
Local or regional is always best (in flavor as well as footprint)! So definitely hit up your local farmer’s market or a shop that sells high quality produce. This is what your soup is going to taste like. So it better be good! We made sure to find the ripest melon & best looking tomatoes for this Green Herb & Cantaloupe Gazpacho.
Try adding fruit!
Stone fruits, melon, and grapes all make excellent additions. Just don’t over-do it and end up with a smoothie! I try to use about 1 cup fruit for every 3-4 cups of vegetables or so. Remember, you can always add more fruit and keep blending to make it a little sweeter but you can’t take it away. So start with less and add more until it feels right to you (which really goes for all seasoning!)
Don’t skimp on healthy fat.
Sure you could leave out the fat for fewer calories, but not only is it going to keep you satiated (leading you to eat less later), but adding fat is going to yield a creamier soup texture that isn’t watery and “broken” looking. I always add a very generous glug of good, grassy olive oil (like ¼ cup or more) and sometimes a handful of nuts (I love marcona almonds in gazpacho). Other favorite sources of fat in my cold soups are avocado and yogurt.
Herbs and greens are your friend!
I like to incorporate tender greens with more flavor, like arugula, spinach, and watercress, and stay away from watery greens (like iceberg or romaine). And I always add herbs because everything is better with herbs!! I like tarragon, parsley, mint, dill, chives, and basil. Cilantro would be good too, so long as you aren’t a cilantro hater like me.
Alliums are a must.
I pretty much always throw in a clove of garlic and a small shallot. But you could experiment with red, sweet, and white onions as well as scallions. I’d avoid leeks (they’re tough raw) unless they’re cooked like in vichyssoise.
Don’t go crazy, but remember, you’ll be serving this ice cold. That means the flavors won’t be as bold (since we can’t perceive flavors as much when things are really cold). I like to leave a little room to add finishing salt as I love the crunchy pop of salt when I’m eating the soup. Make sure the soup is well seasoned, but leave room for that finishing salt at the end.
Don’t forget the toppings!
Even if it’s just an extra drizzle of olive oil and a little finishing salt, I always top my cold soup. I especially like adding some crunch. Diced veggies and big crusty, croutons fried in olive oil are my favorite toppings for crunch. And I enjoy a dollop of creme fraiche too.
Try using unexpected ingredients.
Sourdough (minus the crust) is a classic favorite. Corn, fennel, potato, leeks, carrot, and beets all make great cold soups! I would cook some of the harder, starchier vegetables like potato, beets, leeks, or carrot before adding. Roasted beets are one of my favorite ingredients in a tomato gazpacho.
Use a high powered blender.
And blend, blend, blend until smooth for a velvety texture. I swear by my Vitamix and couldn’t live without it, but you can use any high powered blender! Just keep going until it’s totally smooth.
Season & adjust to taste!
Now that you’ve got your beautiful blended soup, taste it! Add more salt, sweetness, and acidity as you see fit. Want cucumber to shine more? Throw in another chunk. If it’s too thick, add water to thin it. This might be necessary to even get it to blend sometimes if you’re using ingredients that don’t have a lot of water content. At this point you can adjust the “volume” on different flavors and just blend again until smooth, taste, and repeat if necessary until you get your desired result.
Here’s the recipe for my Green Herb & Cantaloupe Gazpacho, and remember, if you like this one and want more I have a totally FREE e-cookbook, a compilation of all the reader favorites from this blog over the past 7 years! It’s as beautiful as it is delicious and can easily be printed out for easy cooking. Click here to get it now!
If you like this recipe, you’ll also love my Chilled Avocado & Arugula Soup!