For a great summertime chilled soup, all you need is perfectly ripe produce, fresh herbs, an acidic ingredient and a bit of fat, like coconut milk or extra-virgin olive oil. Even if your fruit or vegetable looks as if it has seen better days, the inside might be at the peak of its career. My chilled soup recipes often have a spicy element to counterbalance the sweetness of the fruit. Using a powerful blender (like a Vitamix) or food processor is a must with a chilled soup. Straining after blending is up to the cook. I prefer all the fibre that’s in my food to land in my belly, for health reasons, but if I were going all out and putting on the Ritz, as they used to say, I might want to strain the soup through a fine-mesh strainer. -Lisa Ahier
- 3 cups peeled, seeded and diced watermelon
- 1 cup seeded and diced tomatoes
- 1 cup seeded and diced cucumber
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 jalapeño seeded and finely diced
- ½ cup fresh mint leaves
- ½ cup fresh basil leaves plus 6 to 8 chopped leaves, for garnish
- 2 tsp salt plus extra to taste
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ¼ cup orange juice
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- In a large bowl and using an immersion blender, or in the bowl of a traditional blender or food processor, place the watermelon, tomato, cucumber, garlic, jalapeños, mint and ½ cup basil. Sprinkle with the salt.
- Blitz until smooth (you may have to do this in batches if you are using a food processor or if your traditional blender is small). Once the mixture is smooth, add the juices and blend on medium speed. Drizzle in the olive oil and blend to combine (you could do this with a whisk). Add the salt to taste.
- Chill the soup in the fridge for at least 4 hours, or for up to 24 hours. Garnish with the remaining basil.