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Summer’s favorite fruit becomes a favorite soup

POSTED: July 6, 2011 1:30 a.m.
/Associated Press

Gazpacho, the tomato-based chilled soup, can be one of the most refreshing uses of summer produce. Sometimes chopped, sometimes pureed, sometimes cooked, sometimes completely raw, gazpacho can be made any number of ways. This version is made using watermelon instead of tomato.

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For many people, one of the great joys of summer is biting into a perfectly chilled piece of watermelon.

With the first, juicy serving, the only question hanging in the air is, "May I have some more, please?"

Sliced, chunked, in a kitchen or on a front porch, at the beginning of the season, there seems to be no wrong way to serve watermelon.

However, by mid-season, some consumers have had more than their feel. If your taste buds are looking for a fresh take on the summer staple, consider making a watermelon gazpacho.

Typical gazpacho is a tomato-based chilled soup. Sometimes chopped, sometimes pureed, sometimes cooked, sometimes completely raw, gazpacho can be made any number of ways — including from watermelon.Going with a half chopped, half pureed, completely raw version, you can create a super light dish that’s great as an appetizer, for brunch or for a light and refreshing snack.

To make sure you are building your recipe with a sweet base, choose a watermelon that doesn’t have cracks, bruises or soft spots.

You want a melon that has a healthy sheen and a yellow-ish underside from where it was sitting on the ground.

A ripe watermelon should have a sweet, melon scent and should sound hollow when thumped. It should also be heavy for its size.Although red-fleshed watermelon is the most common, there are more than 50 different varieties of the melon, including ones that have a yellow and orange flesh.

If chilled soup isn’t your thing, try a watermelon salsa or even a watermelon sorbet.

Finding new ways to serve up watermelon, instead of giving up on the melon for the summer can not only make your taste buds sing, it can also be beneficial to your health.

Since watermelon is 92 percent water, consuming it can be a tasty way of staying hydrated.

And according to the American Institute for Cancer Research, the lycopene found in the red-fleshed watermelon varieties have been known to lower the risk of developing certain types of cancer.

Associated Press contributed to this report.

 

 



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