Posts Tagged ‘soup’

Watermelon gazpacho around the world

Miradoro viewIt’s finally watermelon season in our part of the world, which gives us an excuse to resurrect a recipe we received too late to try last fall. It was for a fantastic watermelon gazpacho we ate at Miradoro at Tinhorn Creek Vineyards in the Okanagan Valley wine region of British Columbia.

During this summer’s research for the Frommer’s Easy Guide to Madrid & Barcelona, we were surprised to find watermelon gazpacho on almost all the best menus in both cities. So now that we’re home writing and local icebox watermelons are at the farmers’ markets, we tried the Miradoro recipe from executive chef Jeff Van Geest. It is terrific. Here it is, tweaked for our small watermelons. (It tastes just as good without the incredible vineyard view.) For other recipes from Van Geest, click here.


Make about 6 cups
watermelon gazpacho
1 small or 1/2 large watermelon, seeds removed
1 small to medium red onion
3 cloves garlic
1 bunch mint (a fistful)
1 bunch flat-leaf parsley (also a fistful)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup white wine vinegar

1. Roughly chop the watermelon, and finely chop garlic, onion, mint, and parsley.
2. Add olive oil and vinegar and toss. Refrigerate overnight for flavors to meld.
3. Pulse in a food processor or with immersion blender until gazpacho is desired texture. (Van Geest makes his version very smooth.)
4. Season to taste with salt and pepper.


08 2013

The perfect pre-travel meal

It seems that the airlines responded to complaints about bad food by simply eliminating meal service. So now when you do get a tray of gooey pasta or Silly Putty chicken—well, it’s better than nothing. Some of our food and travel writer friends beat the system by packing creative sandwiches on homemade bread, gourmet trail mix, or fancy cheese. We tend more toward convenience foods. We always have peanut butter crackers and little boxes of raisins to throw into our carry-on bags. But we compensate by having a soothing meal at home before we head to the airport.

Ginger-carrot soup is our usual choice. The carrots pack a wallop of vitamin A and ginger is said to ease motion sickness and generally aid digestion. Our favorite recipe is from Soup for Every Body: Low Carb, High Protein, Vegetarian and More (The Lyons Press, 2004) by Joanna Pruess, whom we met a few years ago.

Joanna has a deft touch with flavors, and her Carrot Soup with Chèvre has become our go-to departure and homecoming dinner. It is complex, richly flavorful, low in fat, and simply delicious. If we’re only going to be gone a week, we just put the leftover soup in the refrigerator. Any longer, we freeze it.

She generously gave permission to reprint the recipe here, complete with the nutritional information. We confess to a few minor alterations. We like to use sweet winter storage carrots instead of the often insipid baby carrots (except during local carrot season), and we use a Cuisinart immersion blender to purée it rather than splashing soup all over the counter with a conventional blender.

We’re off tomorrow to Valencia for Las Fallas, and this is the dish sending us off and welcoming us home. (Check out some of Joanna’s more recent books as well: Seduced by Bacon: Recipes and Lore About Americans’ Favorite Indulgence (The Lyons Press, 2006) and Cast-Iron Cookbook: Delicious and Simple Comfort Food (Sky Horse Publishing, 2009).


Serves 8; makes 8+ cups
In this version of carrot soup, sweet young carrots are paired with slightly salty goat cheese and tangy buttermilk to produce an exciting blend of flavors.


1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
3 pounds trimmed young carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
3 tablespoons minced candied ginger
1 teaspoon ground mace
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1 cup buttermilk
Salt and white pepper
4 ounces mild chèvre, such as Montrachet, chilled and cut into 8 slices
Fresh chervil or parsley sprigs, for garnish


1. Heat the oil in a large heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and sauté until tender and lightly colored, 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the carrots, 3 cups of the stock, and the ginger. Cover and bring the liquid to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook until the carrots are very tender, 20-30 minutes.

2. Transfer to a food processor or the jar of an electric blender and purée until smooth. Return the purée to the saucepan. Stir in the remaining stock, the allspice, and mace, and heat until hot.

3. Whisk a cup of soup into the buttermilk to warm it, then stir the buttermilk into the soup. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes. Ladle the soup into heated bowls. Place a slice of chèvre and a sprig of chervil in the center of each bowl and serve.

Calories 190
Calories from fat 70
Total Fat 8g
Saturated Fat 3g
Cholesterol 15mg
Sodium 1040mg
Total Carbohydrate 25g
Dietary Fiber 5g
Sugars 17g
Protein 7g
Vitamin A 960%
Vitamin C 25%
Calcium 20%
Iron 6%


03 2010