Tierra Sur's heirloom melon gazpacho

Time 30 minutes
Yields Serves 4 to 6
Tierra Sur’s heirloom melon gazpacho
(Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)

In a bowl, soak 1 1/2 cups cubed bread in the vinegar.


Meanwhile, using a blender or food processor, puree the melons and red onion. Add the soaked bread and vinegar to the food processor and puree until completely smooth.


With the motor running, slowly add the one-fourth cup olive oil, then the ground bay leaves. Taste, and adjust the seasoning with salt.


If the soup is overly thick, add a few ice cubes and puree until the desired consistency is achieved. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and vinegar.


Transfer the soup to a nonreactive metal bowl and chill before serving. This makes about 4 cups soup.


While the soup is chilling, fry the garnish. Pan-fry the remaining cubes of bread in a hot skillet with a little olive oil until evenly toasted and golden brown. Season to taste with a light sprinkling of salt.


Serve the soup, garnished with a few croutons and a sprinkling of paprika.

Adapted from chef Todd Aarons at Tierra Sur in Oxnard.

Noelle Carter is the former Los Angeles Times Test Kitchen director. She left in January 2019.
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