Cold soups are undeniably the superheroes of stinky hot weather dining on land or afloat and a necessary must when enduring our three month summer incarceration here in Mallorca. The lusty gazpacho, the dashing Borscht and the fearless Vichyssoise, just a few examples of kick arse soups who, if given the chance, would give Mr Heinz Campbell a well deserved beating.
I’m sure we’ve all fallen victim to that charlatan, that, that antichrist masquerading as sopa de gazpacho which has revealed itself as nothing more than an insipid bloody mary or…….. insert a small stifled shriek here…….. watered down tomato frito with a few sad chunks of last weeks
cucumber floating aimlessly around in it. Originally a poor mans meal, gazpacho was no more an emulsion of oil and vinegar thinned with cold water and poured over yesterdays bread, but in these days and times it’s lush, thick and bursting with brightness.
Unlike hot soups which are carb laden and designed to comfort, cold soups should charge us up, taste intensely of their key ingredients and positively zing with freshness. Chilled soups never really hit it off in the UK, but I reckon that maybe due to the somewhat dreary climate more than taste buds. Cold soups need a brave and flamboyant approach with judicious seasoning and good quality raw materials. Once chilled, a soups flavour is muted, so dear friends, seasoning is crucial, make sure you taste, taste, taste. By whizzing your veggies into chilled soups you’ve got a meal that is vegetarian, colourful, cold and fat free.
Listed below I’ve got soups for you to make when it is just too damn hot, refreshing, simple and elegant………perfect for these sweltering days. Hold on to your hats, the feasting is about to get wild, recipes that are hot now and souper convenient to make……
Watermelon Tomato Gazpacho with Pistachios and Basil Oil
2 – 3 large ripe tomatoes, peeled and cored
4 cups seedless watermelon, plus more cubes for garnish
1/2 small cucumber, peeled and cut into large chunks
1 garlic clove
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Basil infused olive oil, for garnish
microgreens or freshly torn basil for garnish
Combine tomato, watermelon cubes, cucumber chunks, garlic, red wine vinegar, lime juice, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper in your blender……….basically chuck all the ingredients in the blender and blitz at low speed for about 1 minute gradually increasing speed to the maximum. Cover and pop in the fridge for at least an hour.
To serve, divide the soup among large white serving bowls, drop a few small cubes of watermelon into each bowl. Drizzle with basil oil. Sprinkle with chopped pistachios and top with fresh basil or micro greens. A little bit of heaven. Stunning…..
5 medium fresh beetroot (just under a kilo)
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
freshly ground black pepper
2 cups diced cucumber
1/2 cup chopped chives
3 diced hard boiled eggs
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill, plus extra for serving
Boil the beetroot in a large pot of salted water until you can pierce them easily with a fork (30 minutes to an hour depending on the size) Remove them from the saucepan and reserve cooking liquid. Cool, peel and dice the beetroot.
Mix 1 and a half cups of beetroot cooking liquid with the chicken stock, sour cream, sugar, lemon juice, vinegar, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Mix in the beetroot, cucumber, chives, eggs and dill. Cover and chill for at least a few hours. Serve cold alongside hot, dilled and salted boiled potatoes. I’ll drink to that!!
Mango Gazpacho with Pickled Prawns
3 ripe mangoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1 cup cantaloupe chunks
1 yellow pepper, seeded and cut into chunks
1 small red onion, cut into large chunks
3 cloves garlic
1 stick of celery, cut into chunks
1 large jalapeno, seeded
3 limes juiced
1and a half cups orange juice
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup coriander leaves
1 avocado, diced
500 grams medium prawns, shelled and poo line taken out
3 cups water
1/2 cup champagne vinegar
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
1 tablespoons peppercorns
pinch red pepper flakes
3 cm knob of fresh ginger, crushed
1 teaspoon sugar
Set aside 1/4 cup each of red onion and mango. Chuck the rest except for the coriander in a blender. Blitz about 5 to 8 times. Chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes allowing flavours to blend. Serve with avocado and coriander and top with pickled prawns.
Bring water, vinegar mustard seed, sugar, ginger knob and red pepper flakes to a boil in a medium saucepan. Remove saucepan from heat and add the prawns. Let the little dears rest for 10 minutes, turning so the cook evenly.
Place in the fridge and let marinate for one hour.
What a star……you are so very welcome.
Galley Goddess! xx