Thursday, July 21, 2005

Chilled summer melon soups...


Cooling soups for summer! Posted by Picasa

Lordie, isn't it hot? And there's nothing better on a hot summer evening than dinner with a cool salad main course. But it can be tough, if you're entertaining, to come up with an appropriate first course when salad is the dinner. Personally, I love a cold soup in the summer. For some it takes a bit of getting used to; I have friends who think the only good soup is a hot soup! But I think if you try it, you'll agree that it's a refreshing and delicious first course.

I've chosen two soups with the nuevo latino influence. Neither takes any cooking and either can be prepared in a jiffy with the aid of a food processor or blender. Whip them up in the morning, or even the night before, so they can chill well. And either makes a great starter for a summer salad dinner.

WATERMELON GAZPACHO

8 cups diced, seeded watermelon (from half a large melon)
1/2 cup almond meal*
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 slices firm white bread, torn into chunks
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
3 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tbsp kosher or coarse sea salt
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup cilantro, for garnish
Lime wedges, for garnish

Reserve one cup of the diced watermelon. Puree remaining melon with almond flour, garlic and bread. Blend until smooth. Add vinegar, lime juice, salt and a couple of grindings of pepper. With the processor on, add the olive oil in a thin stream, blending until smooth. You may have to do this in two batches. Pour into a glass or ceramic bowl and stir in reserved melon dice. Chill well. Serve in wine or martini glasses rimmed with salt (add a little chili powder to the salt if you like). Sprinkle with the cilantro and garnish each serving with a lime wedge. Serves 6-8 as a first course soup.

*Available at gourmet markets and most natural food stores

CANTALOUPE GAZPACHO

1 large cantaloupe, peeled, seeded and diced
1/2 to 1 jalapeno, with seeds and veins removed, diced
1 cup water
1/3 cup light rum (optional)
Juice and zest of two large limes
1 tbsp minced cilantro, plus more for garnish

Place all ingredients except lime zest and cilantro garnish in a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Transfer to a glass or ceramic bowl. Stir in lime zest and refrigerate covered until very cold. Serve in wine glasses, or flat soup plates, sprinkled with additional finely minced cilantro. Serves 6-8 as a first course soup.

3 comments:

Laretha said...

I love fruit soups in the summer, & especially love a cantalope soup with jalapenos. The cool hotness sure can cool you down on a hot summer night. Substitue some white wine for some, if not even all, of the liquid in the cantalope soup-I like it better than the water, and it gives much more compliexity to the soup.

Have you ever tried that rum in this recipe? (Not to drink, but in the recipe, Alyce.) Sounds like it would be really really sweet-good if your melon isn't, I guess.

katty said...

Oh, this blog is really amazing!!! it catched my attention since the first time that i saw it and i must to say i spend a great time reading, because i usually like to discover new things. Really nice blog.
I Love melon because it is a fruit that nourishes and hydrates the skin. So if you want to see the best benefits is better to consume frequently.
the melon is a great alternative when you are doing diet, because melon can help you to get the weight that you want.


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summer time, hell yeah, I love this time of the year because we can all go outside and play at the parks with the kids and pets.