Chef Carlos Salgado makes his gazpacho with sweet melons, cucumbers and avocados, and tops it with crisp and chewy oven-dried macerated blueberries.
Slideshow:More Gazpacho Recipes
1 cup dried blueberries (4 ounces)
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons Champagne vinegar
1 pound ripe green melon, such as honeydew, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces (3 cups)
4 Persian cucumbers—peeled, seeded and chopped
2 Hass avocados (12 ounces)—peeled, pitted and chopped
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup crème fraîche
SWEET HERB OIL
1/2 cup mild, fruity extra-virgin olive oil or grapeseed oil, chilled
1 cup packed fennel fronds, anise hyssop or lemon balm (1 ounce)
1 small fennel bulb, inner core only, halved and very thinly sliced lengthwise
1 Persian cucumber—peeled, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise on the diagonal
1/2 teaspoon Champagne vinegar
Pinch of sugar
Pinch of kosher salt
Fennel pollen and mint or anise hyssop flowers, for garnish
How to Make It
Step 1 Make the blueberries
In a medium bowl, mix the blueberries with the sugar and vinegar. Let macerate at room temperature for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
Preheat the oven to 200°. Spread the blueberries on a parchment paper–lined baking sheet and bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened but still moist. Let cool.
Step 3 Meanwhile, make the soup
In a blender, combine all of the ingredients, season with salt and puree until smooth. Strain the soup through a fine sieve into a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate for about 2 hours, until cold.
Step 4 Make the sweet herb oil
In a blender, combine the oil and herbs and puree until smooth. In a sieve set over a small bowl, strain the oil through a coffee filter or a double layer of cheesecloth.
Step 5 Make the garnish
In a medium bowl, toss the fennel and cucumber with the vinegar, sugar and salt. Let stand for 3 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of the sweet herb oil; toss to coat.
Divide the blueberries into bowls and top with the fennel-cucumber garnish. Pour the soup around the bowl. Drizzle with some of the remaining sweet herb oil, top with fennel pollen and mint or anise hyssop flowers and serve.
The soup and sweet herb oil can be refrigerated separately overnight.
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