The big chill: Skye Gyngell's blissed-out bowls of cool soup for warm spring evenings

Here are three soups that are good to eat right now. Filled with seasonal ingredients, they make for a lighter dinner as the evenings get warmer. All should be served chilled – so you can make them in the morning and keep in the fridge until you are ready to eat. All are made with water rather than stock – though this in no way compromises the intensity of their flavour. These recipes are designed for four people, so multiply the quantities if you have more guests. Serve with bread and a salad or a plate of warm asparagus.

Skye Gyngell is head chef at Petersham Nurseries, Church Lane, Richmond, Surrey, tel: 020 8605 3627, petershamnurseries.com

Cucumber, tomato and bread soup

This soup is a little like gazpacho, though without ingredients such as onions and almonds. The quality of the ingredients is important – the tomatoes should be sweet and ripe, and the bread textured and dry. It needs to be made on the day of eating or it will lose its fresh, sharp, clean taste.

5 very ripe tomatoes
2 small, firm cucumbers
1 garlic clove
4 slices of day-old ciabatta
2 tbsp red-wine vinegar
2 tsp cool water
1 generous bunch of basil, leaves only
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Slice the tomatoes in half, scoop out the seeds and cut into small, rough pieces. Slice the cucumbers in half lengthwise, cut out the seeds and chop finely. Peel and chop the garlic. Place in a large bowl and toss.

Remove the crusts from the bread then tear into one-inch pieces and drizzle over the vinegar, along with two teaspoons of cool water. Allow to soak for five to 10 minutes. Squeeze out the bread and add to the bowl. Chop the basil leaves roughly and stir through. Now pour over the oil and add a good pinch of salt and plenty of pepper. Give it one final stir and serve.

Chilled beetroot soup with crème fraîche

Sweet and sharp, this beautifully coloured soup is tempered by a final teaspoon of crème fraîche placed casually in the centre just before serving. Serve well chilled, as it tastes fresher that way.

5 firm, medium-sized red beetroots
1 medium red onion, peeled and finely sliced
1 knob of unsalted butter
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp red-wine vinegar
1 litre/13/4 pints of water
4 tbsp crème fraîche

Scrub the beetroots clean under cold running water. Place in a saucepan and add enough cold water to cover comfortably. Add a good pinch of salt and bring to the boil. Once the water has boiled, turn down the heat and cook until the beetroots are tender when pierced with a knife – this will take about 45 minutes. Once the beetroot is cooked, remove from the heat and drain. Set aside until cool enough to handle, then peel off the skin – it will come away easily. Finely chop and set aside.

Place the onions in a pan with a knob of unsalted butter, season and cook over a low heat for 15 minutes until soft and translucent. Add the vinegars and cook for a further five minutes then remove from the stove and allow to cool.

Now put the onions and beetroot in a food processor along with the water and blend until smooth, then place in a bowl and chill well in the fridge. When ready to serve, stir once or twice, and taste and adjust the seasoning as you see fit. Ladle into chilled soup plates and finish with a dollop of crème fraîche. Serve at once.

Pea and mint soup

This soup tastes of springtime – peas and mint are a perfect marriage. It is pale and creamy in colour, with just the odd pea dotted here and there for texture and surprise. English peas are at their best right now – sweet and tender. Buy them still in their pods wherever possible.

500g/1lb peas, podded
200ml/7fl oz water
1 medium bunch of mint, leaves only
150ml/5fl oz double cream
A few drops of lemon juice
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place a pot of well-salted water on to boil. Once boiling, add the peas and cook for one minute. Drain but do not refresh with cold water. Set aside a third of the peas to add to the soup just before serving. Once cooled, put the rest of the peas into a food processor and blend with the water and mint leaves. When smooth, pour into a bowl and stir in the cream, lemon juice and plenty of salt and pepper. Chill in the fridge and serve in chilled soup plates, scattering the remaining peas over the top. Serve with fresh, crusty bread and plenty of unsalted butter. Add a simple green salad and you have a light and perfect meal.

News
people Emma Watson addresses celebrity nude photo leak
News
Katie Hopkins appearing on 'This Morning' after she purposefully put on 4 stone.
peopleKatie Hopkins breaks down in tears over weight gain challenge
News
Boris Johnson may be manoeuvring to succeed David Cameron
i100
News
peopleHis band Survivor was due to resume touring this month
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
News
In this photo illustration a school student eats a hamburger as part of his lunch which was brought from a fast food shop near his school, on October 5, 2005 in London, England. The British government has announced plans to remove junk food from school lunches. From September 2006, food that is high in fat, sugar or salt will be banned from meals and removed from vending machines in schools across England. The move comes in response to a campaign by celebrity TV chef Jamie Oliver to improve school meals.
science
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Life and Style
fashionModel of the moment shoots for first time with catwalk veteran
Life and Style
fashionPart of 'best-selling' Demeter scent range
News
i100
Sport
Tom Cleverley
footballLoan move comes 17 hours after close of transfer window
Sport
Alexis Sanchez, Radamel Falcao, Diego Costa and Mario Balotelli
footballRadamel Falcao and Diego Costa head record £835m influx
Life and Style
fashionAngelina Jolie's wedding dressed revealed
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    Marketing Executive / Member Services Exec

    £20 - 26k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Marketing Executive / Member Services Ex...

    Sales Account Manager

    £15,000 - £25,000: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has arisen for ...

    VB.NET and C# developer (VB.NET,C#,ASP.NET)

    £30000 - £45000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: VB.NET a...

    Business Development Manager / Sales Pro

    £30 - 35k + Uncapped Comission (£70k Y1 OTE): Guru Careers: A Business Develop...

    Day In a Page

    'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

    'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

    US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
    Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

    A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

    Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
    Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

    James Frey's literary treasure hunt

    Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
    Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

    Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

    What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
    Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

    Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

    Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
    Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

    The big names to look for this fashion week

    This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
    Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

    'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

    Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
    Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

    Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

    Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
    Al Pacino wows Venice

    Al Pacino wows Venice

    Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
    Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

    Neil Lawson Baker interview

    ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
    The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

    The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

    Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
    The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

    The model for a gadget launch

    Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
    Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

    She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

    Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
    Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

    Get well soon, Joan Rivers

    She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
    Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

    A fresh take on an old foe

    Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering