Watermelon Gazpacho with Spicy Shrimp is the perfect, quick and easy summer meal! Sweet and spicy, hot and cold, and only takes 10 minutes!
It’s hard to believe nearly five years ago I was graduated and about to go on a month-long European adventure. The unbearably hot, sticky summer days in Atlanta always take me back to the final week of my Eurotrip in Spain. These late-August days were spent walking everywhere in Barcelona and Madrid and dripping sweat. Dripping sweat to the point where I can still remember needing to make mid-day outfit changes without fail due to soaking wet clothes. Hair plastered to the side of my face, makeup streaking down my cheeks. That hot.
Gazpacho is something that, pre-five years ago, I would turn my nose up at. Cold vegetable soup? Ew. Why would I eat puréed salad? But across from the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona I slumped- exhausted, sweaty, and starving- into a chair at a small, nondescript café. I needed something cold. The thought of more fried, hot tapas was unbearable. I ordered gazpacho for the first time, and it was magical. I can picture that moment so clearly in my mind. It was a welcome respite and exactly what I needed in that moment: cold, refreshing, and nutritious. Have you ever tried to walk 5 miles in 100 degree weather after eating a carb-bomb of a fried lunch? Yeah, the gazpacho was a life saver.
I channeled my inner-Spain the other day in the 90 degree Georgia heat and I made gazpacho. Watermelon chunks were BOGO at Publix so I had a ton in the fridge. I had fresh tomatoes, mint, basil, and serrano peppers growing in my garden outside and I knew what had to be done: watermelon gazpacho with spicy shrimp. I always feel like gazpacho alone isn’t quite filling enough to stand on its own, so the addition of hot, spicy shrimp against the cool, sweet soup? Bliss.
After I blend up the main soup ingredients, I like to reserve some of the ingredients to dice up and top the soup with. I think it keeps the texture interesting! And don’t forget the cooling avocado- this can get SPICY.
- 2 lbs. watermelon chunks, (about 3 cups)
- 1 large tomato
- ½ red onion, diced
- 1 cucumber, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, seeds and ribs removed and diced
- ½ serrano pepper
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 16-24 peeled and deveined shrimp, (16, or 4 shrimp each, for an appetizer; 24, or 8 shrimp each, for a main course)
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- Chili powder
- Fresh basil and mint, chopped, for topping
- 1 avocado, peeled and diced, for topping
- Get a large blender or food processor, (mine has a 10-cup capacity, if yours is smaller you may need to work in two batches).
- Into the blender, add the watermelon, tomato, half of the diced red onion, half of the diced cucumber, half of the diced bell pepper, the serrano, the lemon juice, ½ tsp. salt, and freshly ground black pepper.
- Seal the blender and blend on high for a minute or two until smooth.
- Store the blender in the fridge until ready to serve to keep cool.
- While the soup is cooling, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add a Tbsp. olive oil to the skillet and let it get hot.
- Season the shrimp with salt, pepper, and a few dashes of chili powder until evenly coated.
- Add the shrimp to the skillet, and cook 1-2 minutes on each side until dark brown and cooked through.
- Serve the soup topped with 4 shrimp each for an appetizer/side, or 8 shrimp each for a heartier meal.
- Top with diced onion, cucumber, bell pepper, avocado, and fresh herbs.