This has been a busy summer for me, so once again I am posting early. We have established in these posts before that 1.) I try to eat as seasonally as possible, 2.) I like cold soups in the summer, and 3.) I am mildly obsessed (maybe not so mildly) with Yotam Ottolenghi, so bearing those things in mind, I present this recipe. Let me just shout out that this soup is great!!! Don’t let the fact that it is green and cold scare you, this is a hearty summer dish that is full of flavor and just so good for you. I made this ahead of time to enjoy for lunch throughout this hot week . I did not add the ice cubes, because I knew I would not be eating it right away and to me, it only got better as the week progressed. Just like bone warming hot winter soups, cold summer soups can be comfort food, especially if you like a little spice and add the green chile.
- 2 celery sticks (including the leaves)
- 2 small green peppers, deseeded
- 6 mini cucumbers (12 oz/350g in total), peeled
- 3 slices stale white bread (4 1/4 oz/120g in total), crusts removed
- 1 fresh green chilli (or less if you don’t want it too hot)
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 tsp sugar
- 5 1/4 oz/150g walnuts, lightly toasted
- 7 oz/200g baby spinach
- 1 oz/25g basil leaves
- 1/3 oz/10g parsley
- 4 tbsp sherry vinegar
- 1 cup/225ml olive oil
- 1 1/3 oz/40g Greek yoghurt
- about 2 cups/450ml water
- 8 3/4 oz/250g ice cubes
- 2 tsp salt
- White pepper
- 2 thick slices sourdough bread, (5 1/4 oz/150g in total)
- Start the dish by making the croutons. Preheat the oven to 375°F/190°C/Gas Mark 5. Cut the bread into 1″/2cm cubes and toss them with the oil and a bit of salt. Spread on a baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes, or until the croutons turn golden and crisp. Remove from the oven and allow to cool down.
- Roughly chop up the celery, peppers, cucumbers, bread, chilli and garlic. Place in a blender and add the sugar, walnuts, spinach, basil, parsley, vinegar, oil, yoghurt, most of the water, half the ice cubes, the salt and some white pepper. Note: I did not do the ice cubes, because I made my soup ahead of time. I just refrigerated it for a few hours before eating.
- Blitz the soup until smooth. Add more water, if needed, to get your preferred consistency. Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning.
- Lastly, add the remaining ice and pulse once or twice, just to crush it a little.
- Serve at once, with the croutons.