Watermelon soup is a delicious, refreshing, and easy summer dish requiring very little time to prepare. It can appear on the table in no time. Equally satisfying either as an appetizer or as a dessert. Here, paired with chia seeds to add texture, lime and ginger for a zing, and some fresh mint or lemon verbena for a variation of flavors.
4 lb / 1 kg 800 g watermelon flesh
6 Tbsp/ 60 g chia seeds
1 1/2 oz / 40 g fresh ginger
1/2 oz / 15 g fresh mint or lemon verbena
Peel and slice the ginger root. Cut both ends of the limes and stand it upright on a wood board for slicing off the peel. Slice the peel off all the way around, being sure to remove the rind. Quarter each lime. Remove mint (or lemon verbena) leaves from the stems and reserve the nicer looking ones for serving. Place lime, ginger and mint (or lemon verbena) at the bottom of a standing blender bowl. Cut the watermelon into large pieces and discard the rind. Add the watermelon to the other ingredients in the blender and process until smooth, in batches if necessary. Pour the watermelon soup into a bowl and add the chia seeds. Mix well, cover and refrigerate. Serve chilled with mint or lemon verbena. You might also extra chia seeds on top for the presentation.
This silky smooth soup announces springtime and can be served hot or cold. Finished in an olive oil emulsion instead of cream, it gains a creamy texture while maintaining a lightness of taste and texture. The subtlety of its seasoning, carrot-coriander and English pea-mint, adds a complex yet delicate flavor.Preparing the two soups in separate batches and pouring them together just at serving time not only adds a colorful touch, it also preserves the integrity of the distinct flavors.Ingredients for 4 servings:
500g/1.2lbs organic carrots
1 kg/2.4lbs fresh English peas in their pods (or about 500g/1.2lbs shelled)
1 tsp coriander grains
20g/0.7oz fresh mint (a few sprigs)
12 Tbsp olive oil
Coarse sea salt for cooking
Fleur de sel
Start by grinding the coriander with a mortar and pestle. Set aside. Wash the mint and remove the stems. Set the leaves aside.Shell the fresh English peas by pressing each pod between your fingers to release the peas.You should have about half the weight in peas and can discard the shells.Peel and slice the carrots thinly so they cook quickly and evenly preserving most nutrients.Bring two pots of lightly salted water to a rolling boil. One for the carrots and one for the peas.Plunge the carrots in one of the pots. Return to a boil. Lower the heat and cook on medium for about 10-12 minutes.Meanwhile plunge the peas in the other pot of boiling water.When all the peas float up to the surface, about 5 minutes, they are cooked.Remove the peas from the pot with a skimmer into a bowl, preserving the cooking liquids for adding to the soup. When the carrots are tender remove them from the pot with a skimmer in the same way as for the peas, reserving the cooking liquid. Place the peas in a tall beaker with 6 tbsp of olive oil and some of the pea cooking liquid. Process with an immersion blender, adding more liquid as needed, up to 2-2 1/4 cups of cooking liquid total. Place back into the pot, after discarding the excess liquid, add the mint leaves and process until fully blended. You will obtain a somewhat grainy texture.Pour the pea soup in a chinois or fine mesh strainer.Over a bowl to recuperate a smooth textured soup. Press as much of the liquid as possible. You can reserve the pulp for another use (let me know if you’d like some suggestions). Scrape the outer pulp into the soup. Whisk until homogenous. Adjust seasoning with some Fleur de sel. Set aside.Place the carrots in a tall beaker. Process with an immersion blender adding 6 Tbps of olive oil and some of the cooking liquid from the carrots. Continue processing until smooth. Transfer to a bowl. Add the freshly ground coriander and adjust the consistency with more cooking liquid until it reaches the same texture as the pea soup. Again, about 2-2 1/4 cup of added liquid total. Pour both soups into each serving bowl simultaneously. This way both soups retain their separateness. Using a spoon, gently mix the two on the surface. To make a design. And finish with a touch of herbs, chives or mint. Enjoy!
Quick. Simple. Fresh.
One of my favorite soups to make in no time and enjoy healthy nourishment.
The compliment of herbs, parsley and mint, brings fresh flavors, which can also be achieved with basil, chives, or dill depending on your preference and what grows in your garden.
Here presented with a lemon rind and some peas sprouts for an elegant serving. Ingredients:
2 lbs fresh English peas
1/2 lb white onion
1 oz mint leaves
1 oz parsley leaves
1 Tbsp grape seed oil
5 cups water
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste First peel and cut the onion in half, leaving the roots at the end. Finely chop the onion by slicing it horizontally and vertically almost to the roots. This technique allows the onion to still hold together. Then slice from the tip to the root to have a perfectly sized chopped onion. Heat a little grape seed oil in the bottom of a large pot. Once the oil is hot, add the chopped onion at once and reduce the heat to low. Cook for a few minutes until the onion becomes translucent and softens. Add the water, season with salt and bring to a simmer. Cook a few minutes (5 to 8) until the peas are tender. Using an immersion blender, process the soup until smooth. Wash and remove the stems from the herbs. Add the herbs to the soup. Continue processing with the immersion blender until you obtain a velvety texture. Adjust seasoning with freshly ground pepper and a little salt if needed. Refrigerate to cool.