Chilled Green Soup with Olives

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Appears in

The Sugar Club Cookbook

By Peter Gordon

Published 1997

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This is a delicious summer soup, but the colour deteriorates after a day so make only as much as you need. To keep the colour vivid the herbs are blended in oil before being exposed to the acidic citrus juice. This seals in their aroma and taste and protects the green colour against the acidity, which has to fight through a barrier of oil. It may sound a bit scientific, but it does help the soup!


  • 1 leek
  • 1 cup roughly chopped rocket leaves
  • 2 cups roughly chopped watercress
  • 2 cups roughly chopped curly parsley
  • 1 cup pitted green olives
  • 2 tablespoons rinsed capers
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • ½ cup fresh oregano leaves
  • ½ cup fresh tarragon leaves
  • 200ml (7fl oz) extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 1 bunch spring onions
  • 1 bunch chives
  • 200ml (7fl oz) fresh lime or lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper


Slice the leek finely and wash it well. Bring 500ml (18fl oz) water to the boil in a pot and put in the leek, boil for 2 minutes, and then add the rocket, watercress and parsley. After 1 minute strain into a bowl, keeping the liquid, and then plunge the greens into a big bowl of cold water and leave to cool. Put the liquid in the fridge to chill.

Drain the greens again, blend them to a rough paste in a food processer and tip the paste into a bowl. Put the olives, capers, basil, oregano, tarragon and olive oil in the processer and blend to a rough paste; add this paste to the first. Finely dice the celery and slice the spring onions and chives, mix them into the paste and leave to sit for 30 minutes. Add the reserved liquid and the citrus juice plus another 300ml (11fl oz) of cold water and mix well, then test for seasoning and return to the fridge.

The soup is best left for a few hours to let the flavours develop; retaste for seasoning (as cold food needs more than hot) before serving in chilled bowls.