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Red, ripe watermelons and beefed-up tomatoes get a lot of summer love, but the farmers market offers a veritable rainbow of melons and heirlooms beyond the basics. From yellow-fleshed watermelon to Cherokee Purple tomatoes, the bright array of peak-season fruit has the Balance’s go-to local recipe gal and whole foods expert Lauren Chandler of Lauren Chandler Cooks seeing with gold-colored glasses. Here, she shares her recipe for Hermiston cantaloupe and Sun Gold tomato gazpacho for a sunset-hued soup that will keep you cool. “This chilled soup is perfect on a summer evening when you don’t feel like cooking,” says Chandler. "Try out different garnishes, like chopped basil or mint, corn, thinly sliced fennel and fennel fronds, a pinch of Urfa pepper, a dollop of sour cream or crème fraiche, and/or Dungeness crab meat." Save a bowl for us!

Hermiston Cantaloupe & Sun Gold Tomato Gazpacho

Serves 6-8

  • 6 cups chopped Hermiston cantaloupe 
  • 1 pint Sun Gold tomatoes*
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • ¾ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ - 1 cup sparkling water

Add all of the ingredients into a blender and purée until very smooth. Depending upon the size of the blender, you may need to do this in batches. Transfer to a container, cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least one hour. Stir before pouring into bowls to serve.

*"I leave the calyxes [the little green star-shaped stem] on a handful of the tomatoes for a subtle earthy undertone," adds Chandler, who learned the tip from Ana Sortun, chef/owner of Oleana in Boston.

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