On the menu: Honeydew Lemongrass Gazpacho
It’s practically still warm enough to eat gazpacho, right? Honeydews have been gone from the grocery stores for months, but…oh, shit. Who am I fooling here? I haven’t shot any savory food in a long time. So here’s an old, out of season recipe to go along with stories of recent events.
This has been the most beautiful fall. The trees are brilliant; they’re practically on fire, but thank goodness they’re not. The weather has been extraordinary—sunny and in the 60s 9 out of 10 days. The big bees are still buzzing about, but with the decline of the New England Asters this last week, I suspect they won’t be around much longer. My weekly commute between school and home has been filled with color, and I’m content to just let my eyes drink it in. My commute is my time to turn off my brain and just be. It’s when I appreciate my surroundings the most. There are no distractions then; it’s just me and the road. Plus sometimes the guy is at the end. How can I not love it?
My father and my brother came to visit. It was wonderful. (How many superlatives can I use to describe my life lately? Geez.) My dad had never seen an ocean, so all he wanted to do was walk on the shore. And that’s all we did for four days. We never left the Midcoast region of Maine, and although we’ve lived there for nearly six months, I never really appreciated the diversity of coastal habitats in the area until their visit. We visited a rocky shore, a cliffside shore, a semi-sandy shore, and a super sandy shore. Each of them had unique aspects. We found crabs, an urchin, lots of sea glass, and sand dollars. Sand dollars! I had no idea they occurred this far north. I love where I live even more than I did before.
I’m craving winter, though. It’s getting dark super early already. I’m getting nesty. I want to wear my sweaters to school and bundle up in my Slanket at home. It’s chilly enough at night that I can rock my Wicked Good Slippers—clouds on your feet, those—but I’m eager for cold, blustery, crisp winter air. Kevin thinks I’m crazy. You might also.
Then I can make warm soups. Not silly cold soups like this. We did gazpacho in a couple of ways this summer: the traditional way with tomatoes from our garden, and this crazy way. I wanted to make cantaloupe gazpacho after reading about it in Bon Appétit. But of course the grocery store was out of cantaloupe that day, so we picked up a honeydew melon instead. I added lemongrass to give it more flavor. You know how cantaloupe is so much sweeter than honeydew? Something had to compensate for that, and we had lemongrass in the freezer. So in it went.
Let me be real: we weren’t that into this soup. Even the traditional gazpacho wasn’t something we’d make again. But this was some weird shit. Those were my exact words after a few bites. It was refreshing, I guess. It was just strange to eat salty, chunky juice from a bowl with a spoon. Man, I’m really selling this stuff! At least it looks pretty?
Warm soups for the win! Hooray, fall! Bring on the chill.
Honeydew Lemongrass Gazpacho
adapted from Bon Appétit (link above)
1 medium honeydew melon, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1 small cucumber, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped lemongrass
2 tablespoons chopped red onion
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
fresh mint, for serving
Purée melon, cucumber, lemongrass, red onion, salt, and water in a food processor until smooth. With motor running, drizzle in 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil; season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve gazpacho chilled, topped with thinly sliced fresh mint.
Here’s a photo of a spoon, surrounded by soup and it’s ingredients. Photo composition 101: don’t do this.