Believe it or not, the flavors of watermelon, the crispness of cucumbers and acidity of the tomatoes blend perfectly together for a savory soup you can serve at brunch, lunch or even as an appetizer at dinner. Finish with basil and goat cheese or sliced avocado as garnish and pair with a nice crusty bread for dipping into the soup for a light, refreshing meal. The ease of smoking the veggies on Green Mountain Grill is part of the appeal- the hardest part of this recipe is chopping the veggies up! Plus, watermelons are available almost year-round at the grocery store this recipe can be made all year!
Smoked Watermelon Gazpacho
GMG Fruitwood Pellets
1/2 large Watermelon, sliced into wedges
3 large Cucumbers, skinned and sliced lengthwise
1 lb Mini Bell Peppers
2 medium Shallots
5 Garlic Cloves, put on a skewer so they don't fall through
4 medium Beefsteak Tomatoes, cut in half
1 large bunch of Basil
2 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
3 tbsp Olive Oil
4 tbsp Water
1 tbsp Smoked Sea Salt
1 tsp Pepper
Preheat your Green Mountain Grill to 350 degrees.
While the grill is heating up, slice the veggies. Cut veggies so you ensure they receive maximum exposure to the grill grates and smoke.
Once the grill is at temperature, put the veggies on. Check the veggies every so often to ensure they are not burning – the garlic and peppers will cook the quickest. Don’t let the garlic burn, just put it on long enough to soften and get some smoke. As char marks form, turn the veggies over and let the other side cook. Ideally you are looking for good char marks and for the veggies/watermelon to caramelize on the grill.
As veggies develop the char marks, remove them and let them cool in a big bowl. The watermelon will not get as charred as the rest of the veggies unless you sliced it extremely thin and that is okay. The inherent nature of this fruit having so much water content makes it take longer to get char marks- be patient.
Once all veggies have been removed, place them in a very large pot and get out your immersion blender.
Now, go ahead and add the additional ingredients: balsamic, olive oil, water, sea salt and pepper and the basil leaves. Pulse the content with the immersion blender until it is pureed. Don’t over puree it, you want it to have the consistency of a fine salsa.
Let chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving.
Garnish with additional basil. Great served with grilled bread as an appetizer, also great for a light lunch.