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Chilled Watermelon Soup

Chilled Watermelon Soup

This simple, refreshing gazpacho-like chilled soup depends on the sweetness of the watermelon, tempered by the addition of olive oil, vinegar, lime juice and salt, to create the perfect balance of flavors. A little spiciness in the form of cayenne or crushed red pepper is welcome, too, as is an extra squeeze of lime juice at the table.

Ingredients

  • 7cups diced watermelon, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Salt and pepper
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • 1tablespoon red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar
  • 4tablespoons fresh lime juice, plus lime wedges for serving
  • 2cups diced honeydew melon or cantaloupe, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2cups diced cucumber, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2tablespoons snipped chives
  • Handful of small basil leaves
  • Handful of small mint leaves
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper (optional)
  • Pinch of flaky salt such as Maldon or fleur de sel (optional)

Preparation

  1. 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 purée. Season with salt and pepper and cayenne, 1 tablespoon vinegar and 2 tablespoons lime juice. Taste and adjust seasoning. Chill bowl on ice or refrigerate.
  2. To serve, place remaining diced watermelon, honeydew melon and cucumber in a small mixing bowl. Toss with a little salt and pepper, 2 tablespoons lime juice and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Divide mixture evenly into chilled soup bowls.
  3. Ladle watermelon purée into each bowl. Sprinkle with chives, basil and mint. Add a sprinkle of crushed red pepper and flaky salt if desired. Pass lime wedges separately.

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