Iced minted watermelon soup with feta

Starter. Serves 4
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Indy Lifestyle Online


In the summer we often have an iced tomato soup with baby mozzarella and basil on the menu in the restaurants. This is a version based on an interesting combination of local Kuwaiti flavours. Watermelon in all sizes and shapes, ranging from long marrow size to enormous globes, with yellow or green skins, was abundant.

The markets also boasted a wide range of local sheep and goats' cheeses. Some were woven like balls of wool sitting in milk, others were pressed like traditional feta. Grenadine, the syrup used for making tequila sunrise, is alcoholic so wouldn't be used in Kuwait. Cranberry juice or pomegranate molasses are alternative ways of adding a little tartness and colour to the soup.

This makes a good dinner-party starter and you can make the soup the day before and chill it.

1kg ripe watermelon (seedless preferably), skinned
2tbsp grenadine, cranberry juice or pomegranate molasses
To serve
A few sprigs of mint, leaves removed and washed
2tbsp olive oil
60-80g good quality feta (avoid canned) or similar, cut into rough 1cm pieces

If you possess a thing called a Parisian scoop (I found mine the other day rusting in a box along with all sorts of other redundant catering college gadgets), scoop about half of the melon into balls and put to one side. If not, cut into 2cm cubes. Either way, keep the waste. Blend these leftover bits with the rest of the melon in a liquidiser with the grenadine or cranberry juice or pomegranate molasses until smooth. Strain through a sieve. Put the soup into the freezer for a couple of hours to give it a slushy consistency, or leave in the fridge overnight. Keep the balls or cubes in the fridge, too.

Blend the mint leaves and olive oil in a liquidiser. To serve, stir the soup well and spoon into a bowl. Garnish with the balls or cubes of watermelon, a few pieces of feta and drizzle with the mint purée.

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