in these hot summer months a hot meal just isn't the right thing.
so the watermelon contest came as a good excuse to try something new and i made this super deliciuos watermelon and tomato soup. it's refreshing, light and fruity and accompanied by crispy pita bread makes a substantial meal nevertheless. or it would also work perfectly as an appetizer for a light summer menu.
the soup and bread can be made several hours before serving, so perfect for when you have to have to make several courses.
have fun with this recipe!
Step 1: Ingredients
for the soup
- 3 big beef tomatoes (about 400 - 500 g)
- a bit more watermelon than tomato (about 600 g)
- 2 cloves of garlic
- a lime
- olive oil
- hot sauce or fresh chilli
- some black olives
- about 200 g of creamy sheep cheese
- and of course some fresh chervil
on a side note i have to say that chervil really deserves the title "challenge ingredient" in the watermelon contest, since it was quite the challenge to even obtain it. i think i went to five shops whitout success, when i wanted to bike to the market to see if i could find some there the mother of all rainstorms broke loose and so i finally decided to go to the supermarket to buy frozen chervil as a last resort and there it was: one last package of fresh chervil sitting amidst a bunch of basil...
i hope you'll have an easier time finding it, otherwise substitute with frozen chervil or a smaller amount of tarragon which has a similar but much stronger taste.
for the crispy bread
- one small pita bread
- a bit of fresh parsley, some herbs and spices
- a bit of olive oil
this will be enough for 2 persons as a main course or 4 as an appetizer
Step 2: Prepare the Tomato & Watermelon
remove the stem from the tomatoes and make a few shallow cuts into the skin.
put the tomatoes in boiling water for one minute, then remove the skin. cut the skinned tomatoes into wedges and remove all the seeds. this is a quite messy affair...
put the tomatoes in a blender jar or in a bowl if you don't have a blender.
now cut the watermelon into chunks and remove the seeds, put the pieces into the blender jar with the tomato pieces.
yeah! even more sticky mess all over the kitchen table. this would have been much faster and easier if i had bought seedless melon....
Step 3: Make the Soup
now put the jar on the blender and blend (or puree with a handheld mixer). skin the garlic and add it to the mix, as well as some olive oil (about 50 ml) and blend some more until everything is smooth. if you use fresh chilli, add the chilli (seeds removed) to the blender as well.
strain through a sieve to get rid of all the tomato and melon seeds that sneaked ther way in and any garlic that wasn't properly pureed.
season your soup with salt, lime juice (i used half a lime, but it held a lot of juice) and hot sauce if you didn't add fresh chili.
chill the soup in the fridge for several hours.
Step 4: Perpare the Garnishes
chop most of the chervil finely (keep some of the nicest leaves for decoration), put in a bowl and add olive oil until the consitency is like a runny pesto. let it stand for some time in a cool place.
cut the olives into small pieces, cut or crumble the cheese into cubes.
Step 5: The Crispy Pita Bread
preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
cut the pita bread into slices about 1 cm thick and put on a baking tray next to each other. sprinkle each slice with some fresh parsley, other herbs an spices (i used paprika and some freshly ground pepper), then carefully trickle a bit of olive oil on the slices.
bake the slices in the oven for about 15 minutes until crispy and golden brown.
you can make the bread some hours in advance, but if you leave them sitting for too long, the bread will draw moisture and be less crispy.
this bread works great with other soups and meals an is a perfect way to prevent leftover pita bread from going stale and unedible. although the crispiness will fade over time, it will stay good even for a few days if you store it in a cool and dry place.