Cold watermelon is one of the most refreshing foods you can eat on a hot summer day. It’s sweet and light and comprised mostly of water. These days, seedless watermelons are pervasive but I actually prefer the ones with seeds, as the taste and sweetness tend to be stronger. This recipe for watermelon soup, however, works perfectly fine with the seedless watermelon, and it makes it much easier to make.
This chilled watermelon soup with feta cream is a great snack or a great first course for a summertime lunch or dinner. Fresh mint and basil are puréed with the watermelon, providing the right balance of seasoning to make the watermelon more savory. Honey and red wine vinegar provide the sweet and tangy balance which gives the soup added depth. When pureeing the watermelon, make sure to use a blender and not a food processor, as the blender results in the right consistency and the food processor makes it too watery.
Feta cream finishes this soup and when combined, adds a nice bit of a creaminess to the texture. I tend to not put too much, as the soup should be light and not too creamy. The balance I use is about one tablespoon of feta for about a cup and a half of soup. To make the feta cream, lemon zest, lemon juice and olive oil serve as flavoring agents for the feta cheese. All ingredients, plus a bit of low-fat milk to help thin out the feta cheese, are combined in a food processor. The end consistency is thin enough to drizzle on top of the soup.
The key stage in this recipe is giving the soup enough time to chill in the refrigerator for the flavors to really meld. Two hours gives it ample time. The feta cream is kept separate and added just before serving. This recipe makes for extra feta cream, which will keep in the refrigerator for about 5-7 days, and can be easily added to salads and other dishes. The soup will keep in the refrigerator about 3-4 days.
Chilled Watermelon Soup with Feta Cream
For the soup:
10 cups watermelon
2 tablespoons chopped mint
2 tablespoons chopped basil
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
For the feta cream:
4 oz feta
2 tablespoons olive oil
Zest of one lemon
1 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup 2% milk
To make the soup: combine all ingredients in a blender and puree – you will need to do this in 3-4 batches. Transfer to a covered bowl and refrigerate for 2 hours until the flavors meld.
To make the feta cream: combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until creamy. Refrigerate for until ready to serve the soup.
To serve: drizzle feta cream on top of soup in individual bowls.
Serves 6 to 8