Gazpacho de Melon

Chilled Melon Soup

This fresh green soup is really very refreshing, and looks good too.

Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2–3 leeks (white parts only), trimmed and sliced
  • 8 oz / 230 g potatoes, peeled and diced
  • ½ pt / 280 ml vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 ripe honeydew or Galia melon
  • 2 tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 2 pt / 1.15 1 water
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Garnish

  • sliced or diced strawberries
  • diced kiwi fruit
  • flaked or slivered almonds, lightly toasted
  • small cubes of dried bread, toasted or fried

Method

Put half the olive oil in a saucepan, add the leeks and potatoes and fry gently until the leeks are wilted. Add the stock, and cook until the vegetables are tender. Meanwhile, cut the pepper into quarters, remove the seeds, and blanch it in boiling water for 1–2 minutes. Roughly chop the pepper and cucumber, and put into a blender with the rest of the olive oil. Add the cooked vegetables and stock and blend until smooth. Transfer to a bowl or jug, sieving if you wish. Cut the melon in half, remove the seeds and cut the flesh into cubes, taking care to retain as much juice as possible. Put the melon and juice in with the sherry vinegar and half the water. Blend until smooth, then stir it into the vegetable mixture. Add enough extra water to give the soup the consistency you prefer. Season and chill the soup until required but for no longer than 2–3 hours, as it loses its freshness. Just before serving, adjust the seasoning. Serve the garnishes in separate bowls.

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