Summer squash soup with goat's curd

Cold soups in the summer are often overlooked but they make a refreshing dinner party starter. In the following recipes I have tried to combine the flavours, textures and colours of summer so that you can suitably impress your dinner guests without too much fuss.

But what might look striking to the eye may disappoint the palate, so making a cold soup flavoursome is of the utmost importance. A good blender is also a crucial piece of kit if you want to create a silky-smooth soup: among the best makes are KitchenAid, Magimix and Waring.

There are no hard and fast rules for cold soups, except to keep it all as simple as possible and resist the temptation of adding too many elements. You can have fun with classic combinations such as salmon and cucumber or, as I've done below, create a soup based on a bloody Mary!



Summer squash soup with goat's curd

Serves 4

There are some interesting members of the squash family around in the summer that are great for making a colourful soup. They all have unusual names that are difficult to remember but the important thing is to buy squashes with flavour and colour for the soup base. An orange fleshed squash, such as butternut, is a safe buy and is available for most of the year.

Some of the smaller squashes, such as patty pans and green and yellow courgettes, are good for the garnish along with some of the squash you have used for the soup base.

Any good quality cheese shop, such as Neal's Yard Dairy, will sell goat's curd, which has a really neutral flavour compared with more mature goat's cheese.

1 small leek, chopped, washed and drained
1tbsp olive oil
1kg orange flesh of summer squash, such as onion squash or butternut squash, peeled, seeded and roughly chopped (reserve some chunks for the garnish)
500ml vegetable stock (a good quality cube will do)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

To serve

A selection of small squashes, including the above, or green and/or yellow courgettes
1tbsp pumpkin seeds, lightly toasted
A tablespoon or so of extra virgin olive oil
4 small spoonfuls of goat's curd or fromage frais

Gently cook the leek in the olive oil for 2-3 minutes until softened. Add the squash and stock, bring to the boil, season with salt and pepper, then simmer for 20 minutes. Blend the soup in a liquidiser until smooth, then strain through a fine-meshed sieve if necessary, season if required and refrigerate for a few hours until chilled.

Meanwhile, peel the small squashes for the garnish and cut into even-sized pieces and do the same with the courgette if using. You should ideally try to have different shapes like wedges, chunks etc. Cook them in boiling salted water until tender, then drain and cool.

To serve, pour the soups into large, chilled soup bowls or soup plates about 2-3cm deep, arrange the squashes in the centre and spoon some goat's curd on top. Spoon over a little olive oil and scatter the pumpkin seeds over.



Suggested Topics
News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
Sport
Harry Redknapp. Mark Hughes and Ryan Shawcross
footballNews and updates as Queens Park Rangers host the Potters
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
New Articles
i100... with this review
Voices
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
New Articles
i100
Arts and Entertainment
musicHow female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
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

    IT Administrator - Graduate

    £18000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: ***EXCELLENT OPPORTUNITY FO...

    USA/Florida Travel Consultants £30-50k OTE Essex

    Basic of £18,000 + commission, realistic OTE of £30-£50k : Ocean Holidays: Le...

    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 ...

    Day In a Page

    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam