Chilling out with Soups

This week I took a big change from my culinary background when approaching these soups. In Barbados soup is synonymous with hot, if it is not hot it’s not soup. When I told my family I was making cold soups, and if they wanted to try it, they immediately said no. The though of drinking cold soup, they were not about. Knowing I would be the only one eating this soup I set forth to put my blender to good use. I chose to make a savoury cold soup and one sweet cold soup; Gazpacho and a Honey dew melon soup. In my readings I came across these recipes in the professional cooking by Wayne Gisslen.

 

The first soup Gazpacho a soup that originated in the south of Spain in an region called Andalusia and eaten throughout Spain and Portugal. It is a savoury soup, made with tomatoes and other fresh vegetables and chilled.

Recipe

  • 2 ½ lb tomatoes peeled and chopped
  • 1lb Cucumbers, peeled and chopped fine
  • 8oz onions peeled and chopped fine
  • 4oz green bell peppers, seeded and chopped fine
  • ½ tsp crushed garlic
  • 2oz fresh white bread crumbs
  • 1pt water
  • 3floz red wine vinegar
  • 4floz olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • Cayenne to taste
  • Lemon juice to taste

Garnish

  • 2oz onion, small dice
  • 2oz cucumber, small dice
  • 2oz green pepper, small dice.

The first step was getting some simple knife skill practice, by processing the vegetables so they actually fit in my blender.

 

Once they were processed it was time to puree, so all got tipped into the blender and off they went.

20160805_112749The final product was a smooth silky soup, it was not as red as I had expected but I did not use tomato juice so this may have been the reason. The next time I approach this dish I will definitely not replace the tomato juice, the rich red colour I feel would add greatly to the presentation of the dish. After chilling, I garnished with a chopped vegetables. It was a very different experience, since before this I had only had hot soups, however getting past the initial hesitance, I was able to experience the dish in its fullest. It had a smooth texture, the tartness of the tomatoes and the red wine vinegar was complemented by the sweetness of the onion, cucumber and bell pepper. The garnish of fresh vegetables also added a much needed layer of texture to the soup, which I always felt soup needed, a crunchy element. The aroma was fruity, as well as a strong aromatic smell coming from the onions and bell pepper, which complemented each other well.

My aunt when I asked her to try it was even more hesitant than I, and was horribly unimpressed by the soup, stating ” I only want my soups hot”, she is also Bajan so I was not surprised. My uncle refused to even try it for the same reason. I don’t think cold soups will catch on in Barbados anytime soon hahaha.

 

The second soup a honeydew melon soup was a big difference for me, even making it I could not wrap my head around the concept of a sweet soup. I am so use to the savoury hot soups in Barbados I was not sure what to expect.

Recipe

  • 8lbs Honeydew Melon
  • 5oz Sugar
  • 4floz dry sherry
  • 1 ½ floz Lime juice

Garnish

  • Melon Balls

Once again I needed to process my ingredients to put them in the blender, this soup was simpler including a lot less ingredients. The final product was so fruity and refreshing!!!

20160805_112353

It was amazing, the chilled soup in my opinion is amazing when it comes to sweeter soups. On a hot day like today with the temperature feeling like 40, wow this helped out. The sweetness of the melon was complemented by the tartness of the lemon juice and sherry. The sherry also added a slightly floral scent to the fruity aromas present in the soup.

Sadly my aunt had had enough of cold soups at this point and declined to taste this one :(.

The challenges were getting over my mental blocks toward cold soups, but once they were dismantled my mind opened up to the experience. Working on presentation for the soups, I feel is something I need to work on, also I need to find some soup bowls, cereal bowls aren’t cutting it for this haha. Additionally colour is another thing, substituting tomato juice, for water was a mistake on my part as the extra colour would have been great in this situation.

As with all these blogs it has really expanded my culinary horizons and made me less close minded. Like my aunts at a point I would not touch cold soups with a ten foot pole, but now especially the sweeter ones I would gladly do again substituting for other fruits such as cantaloupe or strawberry. I still am not a fan of savoury cold soups, I enjoyed the Gazpacho but in the back of my head it just didn’t sit well with me.

 

 

 

 

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