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    RECIPES: Cold soups to enjoy on hot summer days

    Nothing is more refreshing than a chilled soup for a meal when the sun is out. A chilled soup can be an appetizer for the start of a meal or it can be served with a tossed salad and a loaf of crusty bread for a light summer meal.

    Many of the soups you enjoy in winter can be served cold in the warm-weather months. Try any one of the cold soup ideas here to add to the menu for your outdoor dining season.

    Cold tomato soup

    Serves: 6

    Ingredients

    1.3kg ripe red tomatoes, cored and diced

    4 large garlic cloves, sliced

    1 tbs kosher salt, more if necessary

    4 tbs extra virgin olive oil

    2 tbs sherry vinegar

    Black pepper, to taste

    Generous pinch cayenne

    For the garnish

    1 cup finely diced bell peppers, preferably a mixture of colours

    ½ cup finely diced sweet onion

    Salt and pepper

    2 tbs extra virgin olive oil

    1 tbs sherry vinegar

    6 slices freshly toasted French bread or ciabatta

    1 garlic clove

    1 firm-ripe avocado

    2 tbs chopped parsley

    2 tbs chopped chives

    Method

    Put tomatoes and garlic in a non-reactive bowl and sprinkle with salt.

    Add 4 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons vinegar, black pepper, and cayenne.

    Mix well and leave to macerate for at least 15 minutes, or up to an hour.

    Pulse tomatoes in a food processor or blender until just crushed.

    Transfer to a strainer or food mill to remove skins and seeds, pressing well to obtain all the juices. You should have about 5 cups. Add enough ice water to yield 6 cups. Stir well, taste, and adjust seasoning. Chill on a bowl of ice for 15 minutes or refrigerate for up to several hours.

    Make the pepper relish about 30 minutes before serving: Put diced bell peppers and onions in a small bowl and season with salt and pepper. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar, mix well, and set aside.

    To serve, rub each toast lightly with garlic. Top toasts with thick slices of avocado and season with salt and pepper. Place an avocado toast in each bowl and ladle in about 1 cup of chilled soup a serving. Garnish with a generous spoonful of pepper relish and a sprinkling of parsley and chives.

    Chilled watermelon soup

    Serves: 4-6

    Ingredients

    7 cups diced watermelon, cut into 2.5cm cubes

    Salt and pepper

    Pinch of cayenne

    1tbs red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar

    4 tbs 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 tbs 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)

    Method

    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 about4 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.

    Cucumber soup

    Serves: 12

    Ingredients

    2 cucumbers, peeled, seeded, chopped

    ½ ripe avocado, chopped

    Juice of 1 lime

    Salt

    1 tbs avocado oil

    Method

    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

    Recipes from IOL Archives.

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