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Papaya Gazpacho, A Hearty Summer Soup Recipe to Pair With Rosé

Photo Courtesy of Adrian Mueller /
Food Styling by Takako Kuniyuki / Prop Styling by Vanessa Vazquez

Recipe adapted from Saka Saka: South of the Sahara— Adventures in African Cooking by Anto Cocagne and Aline Princet (Interlink Books, 2022)

In their new book Saka Saka, Chef Anto Cocagne and photographer Aline Princet celebrate the food of Cocagne’s native Gabon, as well as traditional cuisine from Congo, Ethiopia, Senegal, Ivory Coast and Cameroon. This hearty papaya soup is a delicious summer alternative to tomato-based gazpacho.

How to Make Papaya Gazpacho

1 semi-ripe, firm-fleshed papaya, peeled, seeded and diced
1 cucumber, peeled and diced
½ bunch basil, leaves chopped
7 ounces (about 4 slices) sliced white bread or baguette, crusts removed
½ cup olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
¹⁄₃ cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons red nokoss (recipe below)
Salt, to taste
Handful of mustard greens, to garnish
3 tablespoons roasted cashews, coarsely chopped, to garnish
Toasted baguette slices, for serving


Combine papaya, cucumber, basil and bread in large bowl. Add olive oil, red wine vinegar, red nokoss and salt to taste. Mix well, cover tightly and refrigerate for 24 hours.

Reserve a few pieces of marinated papaya for garnish, then purée papaya mixture until very smooth. For an extra-smooth consistency, strain mixture through a sieve. If mixture is too thick, add water to achieve desired consistency. Taste and add salt, if necessary, then place in the fridge until cold.

To serve, purée the gazpacho in blender to combine and divide among bowls. Garnish with the reserved papaya pieces, mustard greens, coarsely chopped cashews and a drizzle of olive oil. Serve chilled, with thin slices of toasted baguette. Serves 4.

Red Nokoss

Blend 1 sweet red pepper, 2 mild red chilies, 1 small red onion, 1 tomato, 3 garlic cloves, 2 tablespoons minced ginger, 2 sprigs thyme, 2 sprigs parsley and 1 tablespoon soumbala powder (may substitute fish sauce or miso paste) until smooth. Keeps, refrigerated, for up to a week.

Wine Pairing

The best South African rosés showcase ripe fruit, but are balanced by racy acidity and ample freshness. They’re perfect pairings with this dish, which has both richness from oil, bread and creamy papaya as well as powerful tanginess from the vinegar and nokoss seasoning. Try the bright strawberry tones of Mulderbosch 2021 Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé, the red-fruit forward sip of Boschendal 2021 Rose Garden Rosé or the subtle structure and spice of A.A. Badenhorst 2021 Secateurs Rosé.

For more from the Saka Saka team, follow them on Instagram @lechefanto and @aline_princet

This article originally appeared in the June/July 2022 issue of Wine Enthusiast magazine. Click here to subscribe today!