Gazpacho is a welcome, refreshing treat that graces many dinner tables during the summer. This version, however, puts a fresh spin on the dish with a little heat from two types of chili powder and the use of watermelon.
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- 1 Teaspoon pasilla chili powder
- 1 Teaspoon New Mexico chili powder
- 1 Teaspoon pimentón (Spanish smoked paprika)
- 1/2 Cup sugar
- 1/2 Cup water
- One 3 1/2-pound seedless watermelon, peeled and cut into chunks
- 1/2 red onion, chopped finely
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded, de-ribbed, and chopped finely
- 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded, de-ribbed, and chopped finely
- 1/4 Cup finely chopped fresh cilantro, plus sprigs for garnish
- 2 -3 limes, plus 1 slice for garnish
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted, and sliced, for garnish
In a small dry skillet, combine the chili powders and pimentón. Stir over medium heat until lightly toasted and fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.
In a small pan, combine the sugar and water. Stir over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved; then, bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and let cool.
Put half of the watermelon in a blender and add ¼ cup of the sugar syrup. Blend until smooth and set aside. Finely chop the remaining watermelon and put in a medium-sized bowl with the onion, peppers, cilantro, and toasted spices.
Grate in the zest of 1 lime. Add the watermelon purée and the juice of 2 limes; taste and add more if needed to balance the flavors. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours.
To serve, spoon into small bowls or glasses. Garnish each serving with cilantro sprigs, avocado slices, and a slice of lime and serve.