At this sultry time of year I like to have a jug of soup chilling in the fridge. Solid food is too much in the August heat, and soup can be breakfast. lunch or dinner. When I first came to Spain I quickly found out how to make the classic Gazpacho which uses the richly ripe summer tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers blended with sweet garlic and olive oil. Then in Cordoba I came across Ajo Blanco, made with the new crop almonds and deliciously creamy. Some time later it occurred to me that these soups follow a sort of formula and maybe other vegetables – and fruits could be used to make Gazpacho.
It all started with a bumper crop of slightly too acidic Loquats or Nispero and a vague memory of being served a fruit soup in Hungary while visiting a friends family there with her. The soup was delicious. Since then I have made soup from almost each fruit as they come into season. Cherries are particularly successful. I have used the flat white peaches that we grow on the farm, which make for a very creamy textured soup of the gorgeous delicate peach colour illustrated below. Nectarines, Plums, Apricots – all good.
Right now Watermelon is the fruit, so I have used that for the master recipe. Now that the melons come without seeds that you need to pick out, it is even quicker to make.
This made 1.2 litres, enough for at least 6 servings
Half a watermelon
2 cloves garlic
half a teaspoon of salt
60 ml good olive oil
Simply cut the flesh from the melon into cubes, peel and roughly chop the garlic and then add these with the rest of the ingredients to the food processor or liquidiser and blitz to a puree.
Check the seasoning and then put in the fridge for a couple of hours to chill down and for the flavours to meld.
If you are using a more solid fruit like peaches or plums, you will need to add water to get the right consistency. Some fruits that are very sweet or very ripe benefit from the addition of lemon juice to balance the flavour.