Amanda & Merrill

Retro Recipe: White Gazpacho with Cantaloupe

July 15, 2011

- amanda

Want to drink a cool summer soup from a glass? Do not turn on your oven. Do not reach for the broth. Start gathering together the elements of a salad -- the olive oil, the sherry vinegar, some blanched almonds, the bread for croutons, and a few garlic cloves. Then take a sharp turn and pull out your food processor. Whiz together the almonds, bread and garlic. Add vinegar and salt, then stream in oil and ice water, and your soup -- courtesy of food writer, Penelope Casas, who imported it from Malaga, Spain, for us -- is made. I like it strained and sharpened with some more vinegar before serving. Casas adds shrimp and green grapes. I snub them both in favor of droplets of sweet cantaloupe.

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White Gazpacho with Cantaloupe

Adapted from "La Cocina de Mama" by Penelope Casas

Serves 4

  • One 6-inch piece firm-textured French baguette
  • 1 1/2 cups blanched almonds
  • 2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup mild extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cups ice water
  • 32 tiny balls cantaloupe


1. Soak the bread in some water and squeeze dry. Place it in a food processor, add the almonds and garlic, and blend until a fine-textured puree (don't let it turn to nut butter). Add the vinegar and salt, and with the motor running, add the oil in a thin stream until fully incorporated. Gradually pour in the water.

2. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl, cover and chill for several hours or overnight. Before serving, taste for salt and vinegar and adjust if necessary. Serve in glass tumblers and garnish each serving with 8 cantaloupe balls.


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Amanda Hesser

Written by: Amanda Hesser

Before starting Food52 with Merrill, I was a food writer and editor at the New York Times. I've written several books, including "Cooking for Mr. Latte" and "The Essential New York Times Cookbook." I played myself in "Julie & Julia" -- hope you didn't blink, or you may have missed the scene! I live in Brooklyn with my husband, Tad, and twins, Walker and Addison.


Sadassa_Ulna July 15, 2011
This is so intriguing and I can't quite imagine what it tastes like, except that with those ingredients it must be good. And I love the milky color. I can't wait to try this!
Amanda H. July 15, 2011
It's definitely unusual -- but really good.
creamtea July 15, 2011
I had just finished making my fave chilled cantaloupe and almond milk soup sweetened with honey and lime juice (Gourmet Magazine) when I saw this. Coincidence? I think not.
Amanda H. July 15, 2011
Ooh, that one sounds good!
Lizthechef July 15, 2011
How did I miss this?! I'm really on a roll with chilled soups this summer...This looks lovely and I've got all the stuff on hand :)
Amanda H. July 15, 2011
Love chilled soups, as well.
Smufty2 September 23, 2010
This is a perfect recipe. I made it a day and a half in advance and stirred it up and seasoned to taste with salt/vinegar before serving. I peeled seedless red grapes and cut them in half instead of using melon. Served in small chilled white china bowls.
Amanda H. September 24, 2010
So glad you enjoyed it! I like the way you served it.
maryvelasquez August 12, 2010
Out of sherry vinegar! Anyone have a favorite brand?
pierino August 12, 2010
It's worth seeking out a good, aged Spanish lable. They are fairly inexpensive but you won't find one at the local supermarket. If you don't have a high end store like a Dean & DeLuca in your town you can buy on-line from La Espanola, Spanish Table, or Tienda. Buy several brands, it's not going to spoil. Personally I think so-called "balsamic" vinegar is one of the most misused ingredients in the American kitchen.
maryvelasquez August 10, 2010
So easy and delicious. I plan to make this often! I had one problem, which is that my food processor was too small to hold all of the gazpacho once I started to add the water and the soup seeped out. What size food processor do you use? Should I just combine it in a large bowl next time? Will I lose flavor?
Amanda H. August 10, 2010
Yes, it does make a fair amount. I have a large food processor. I think it would be best to halve the mixtures next time and still do it the fp, but in 2 batches. Sorry about that -- nothing worse than it seeping out of your fp!
simmer D. August 9, 2010
Some help on the melon balls, please? How small is "tiny", and how do you achieve these little droplets? Thanks!
Amanda H. August 9, 2010
Sure -- you can use any size melon baller you have. Nothing wrong with larger ones. I just happen to have a small (1/2-inch) melon baller and like to use it for things like this. You can also just cut the melon into small cubes.
dihawes August 8, 2010
I was served delicious white gazpacho at a fancy country restaurant in Spain and asked the staff how it was made. In that case, apparently, they put the tomato pulp in a cheesecloth bag and let it drip into their bowl where it joined the other ingredients listed above. I haven't had the patience to try making it!
Amanda H. August 8, 2010
That's really interesting -- I think chefs here call that "tomato water." I've made it but have used it for cocktails and the like. Will definitely try it in white gazpacho -- very cool idea! Thanks.
pierino August 6, 2010
This was the original gazpacho---before the tomato arrived from the New World, and before the Moors got kicked out after introducing almonds, rice cultivation and serious architecture to Espana. But don't dismiss the grapes in white gazpacho, although they are pretty damn hard to peel. Penelope Casas is to Spanish cookbook writing as Marcela Hazan is to Italian. Both have their own regional biases though.
Amanda H. August 8, 2010
Thanks for the info, Pierino. Always welcome.
Sagegreen August 6, 2010
Very cool!
Amanda H. August 8, 2010