Tomatillo and Melon Gazpacho
Gazpacho is a surprisingly controversial soup. In a very informal test kitchen survey, we discovered that while some folks love the stuff, many more forgo it — it’s too cold, too acidic, and too much like salsa. This very green take on the classic recipe changed a lot of minds.
It’s made with tomatillos, honeydew melon, Bartlett pears, poblano peppers, and a handful of herbs and aromatics. It looks splendid in the bowl: we love how the garland of deep green garnishes and olive oil stands out on the pale green soup. Dip your spoon in, and the flavor is lightly sweet, herbaceous, bright, and zippy. It’s cool and creamy. As one of our tasters said, “It’s like a glorious, green late-summer garden.”
It is indeed, and yet for all that vivid complexity, it’s as easy to make as a smoothie — a fact that makes it no less special. Make this soup for meals you plan to savor. That might mean packing it in a thermos for a lavish picnic at the beach or ladling it into your fanciest bowls and serving it as the first of many courses.
Our tip: Don’t skip the garnishes. They’re very pretty, but they also add wonderful texture and depth to the soup.
For the gazpacho:
¾ English cucumber, peeled and seeded
2 cups honeydew melon
1 Bartlett pear, peeled and seeded,
1 poblano pepper, seeded
¼ cup cilantro leaves, loosely packed, plus more for garnish
½ cup parsley leaves, rough cut
2 Tbsp chives, rough cut
2 Tbsp dill
2 Tbsp lime juice
1 tsp agave syrup
2 cloves garlic
1 small shallot
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp Champagne or white wine vinegar
⅔ cup plain yogurt
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
For the garnish:
2 Tbsp cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced small
2 Tbsp honeydew melon, diced small
2 Tbsp Bartlett pear, peeled, seeded, and diced small
2 tomatillos, diced small
1 Tbsp cilantro leaves
1 Tbsp parsley leaves
1 Tbsp chives, minced
1 Tbsp dill, minced
Purée all of the gazpacho ingredients in a blender until smooth.
Pass the soup through a fine mesh strainer into a large serving bowl, using a rubber spatula to help press the body of the soup through the mesh. Discard the pulp, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and chill the soup for 30 minutes.
Divide the soup into four bowls and sprinkle the garnishes on top.