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Chilled Watermelon Gazpacho and Frozen Watermelon Daiquiris

Mary Anne here. This summer swelter is stretching straight across the US of A, so I find myself in need of cold comfort. Knowing that the thermometer was on the rise, I loaded up the fridge with a bounty of fresh, crisp fruit and whipped up an old Rittenhouse family summer staple – an enormous fruit salad, which I’ll post next week. Ripe, rosy watermelon was on sale, so I plunked down 6 bucks for one of those fat boys, but it left me with about 3 pounds of unused “meat”. What to do…and then I remembered that last summer, I created a very rewarding Mango Gazpacho and figured I’d take a chance with its blushing cousin.

When I first worked up this recipe, I realized that the sweet and zesty flavor of this watermelon “gazpacho” also makes an incredible base for a frozen Daiquiri, blended with a shot or two of rum. And if the cool soup doesn’t make you forget the heat, a couple of Daiquiris just might do the trick.

Chilled Watermelon Soup and Frozen Watermelon Daiquiris
Serves 4 as gazpacho

3-lb piece of seedless watermelon, coarsely chopped, rind discarded – $3.00
1 ½ Tablespoons olive oil – stock
1 large shallot (about 3 Tablespoons), minced – $0.39
1 heaping Tablespoon chopped fresh ginger – $0.23
2 cloves garlic, minced – stock
1 large Jalapeno, minced – $0.19
1 teaspoon Mirin – Asian stock
3 Tablespoons fresh lime juice – $0.50
1 teaspoon Kosher salt – stock
Mango slices, fresh mint, and blackberries to garnish: optional
Grand Total Assuming a Well-Stocked Pantry: $4.31
Total Per Soup Serving: $1.80

Directions for Gazpacho:
1. Using a food processor or blender, puree the chopped watermelon. (You’ll need to do this in batches.) Transfer to a large mixing bowl.

2. In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat. Sauté the shallots and ginger until pale gold, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add 2 cups of the pureed watermelon to the pot along with the Mirin. Simmer over medium flame, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes.

3. Transfer the hot watermelon mixture to the bowl of food processor armed with the metal blade, or a traditional blender. Add the Jalapeno, lime juice, and salt. Puree until smooth. Transfer to the bowl containing the remaining watermelon. Stir well to combine. Refrigerate at least 3 hours or overnight.

4. To serve, ladle into soup bowls and garnish with mango slices and blackberries, if desired.

To make frozen Daiquiris:
Note: This is definitely the kissing-cousin to a frozen Margarita, so I decided to exercise my options and dipped the moistened rim of my glass into some Kosher salt. Sugar would work as well, or just a bare-naked Daiquiri!

1. Combine 1½ oz. rum with ¾ cup watermelon soup in a blender.

2. Add a handful of ice cubes and blend until frosty and smooth. Pour into a large Margarita or Martini glass. Garnish with a slice of lime or a blackberry.