Cold soup is one of my summer obsessions, right up there with salads, cold beer, and everything iced dessert. On a hot summer day, there is nothing I crave more.
Cold soup is hydrating, refreshing, and brimming with peak-season produce. Often, its flavour improves after a day or two in the fridge, so it is the sort of thing you can make ahead and keep on hand for easy, no-cook summer meals.
If you are just like me then you should try any one of the cold soup ideas here to add to the menu for your outdoor dining season.
2 cucumbers, peeled, seeded, chopped
½ ripe avocado, chopped
Juice of 1 lime
1 tbsp avocado oil
Purée cucumbers, avocado, and lime juice in a food processor or blender.
Transfer to a bowl. If you use a food processor, strain the mixture first.
Stir in 1 cup cold water. The mixture should be poured consistently.
Season with salt.
Transfer to a container or pitcher and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Pour into small cups or shot glasses. Drizzle a few drops of avocado oil on top of each. Set cups or glasses on a tray to serve.
Chilled watermelon soup
7 cups diced watermelon, cut into 2.5cm cubes
Salt and pepper
Pinch of cayenne
1tbs red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar
4 tbsp fresh lime juice, plus lime wedges for serving
2 cups diced honeydew melon or cantaloupe, cut into 2.5cm cubes
2 cups diced cucumber, cut into 2.5cm cubes
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbs snipped chives
A handful of small basil leaves
A handful of small mint leaves
Pinch of crushed red pepper (optional)
Pinch of flaky salt (optional)
Put 5 cups of diced watermelon in a food processor or blender and blitz to a purée.
Strain purée through a fine-meshed sieve into a bowl. You should have about 4 cups of purée. Season with salt and pepper and cayenne, one tablespoon vinegar, and two tablespoons of lime juice. Taste and adjust seasoning. Chill bowl on ice or refrigerate.
To serve, place the remaining diced watermelon, honeydew melon, and cucumber in a small mixing bowl. Toss with a little salt and pepper, two tablespoons of lime juice, and two tablespoons of olive oil.
Divide the mixture evenly into chilled soup bowls.
Ladle watermelon purée into each bowl. Sprinkle it with chives, basil and mint.
Add a sprinkle of crushed red pepper and flaky salt if desired.
Pass lime wedges separately.
Recipe by David Tanis.