One of my favorite magazines is Natural Health, which is always full of great articles and tips as well as fun healthy recipes. The July issue was no exception and I have several dishes tagged to make. The one that intrigued me the most was this one for Watermelon Soup with Feta from the "Easy No-Cook Meals" feature. With fresh watermelon and pineapple blended and topped with feta cheese, mint and cilantro, it sounded refreshingly different and good. This recipe might not be everyone's cup of tea (or rather cup of soup), but if you can suspend any beliefs you have that watermelon belongs with sweet ingredients (instead think of either watermelon gazpacho or watermelon salad with basil and feta), and that soup has to be hot to be good, you will probably like it.
Natural Health says: "Cold soups made with juicy summer fruits like watermelon and pineapple require only a sharp knife, a blender, and a few tangy garnishes like feta cheese and some mint sprigs. Watermelon is loaded with lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that can help protect your skin from sun damage and flush LDL ("bad") cholesterol out of your body." (BTW, both watermelon and pineapple are high in Vitamin C too.) "Buy and store uncut watermelon at room temperature for maximum flavor and lycopene content. This recipe also includes chunks of pineapple--if you can't find it, use strawberries instead."
"The combination of watermelon and feta delivers a sweet-sharp one-two punch that's refreshing--and addictive."Watermelon Soup with Feta
Natural Health, July 2009
Prep Time: 10 minutes (Serves 8)
9 cups diced seedless watermelon
2 Tbsp chopped spearmint
1 Tbsp chopped cilantro
2 cups diced pineapple
1 Tbsp organic honey
1/4 cup sparkling water
8 teaspoons crumbled feta
8 whole spearmint sprigs
In a medium-sized bowl, combine 1 cup of the watermelon with the mint and cilantro and set aside.
In a blender, pulse the remaining watermelon, pineapple, honey, and sparkling water until smooth. (If your blender is small, work in batches).
Using a mesh strainer, strain the soup into a large bowl or soup tureen, then serve into 8 bowls. Top each bowl with 1/8 cup of the reserved watermelon mixture and a teaspoon of the feta. Garnish with mint.
Per serving: 89 calories, 1g fat, (0.5g saturated0, 21g carbohydrates, 1.8g protein, 1.4g fiber, 38mg sodium, (2% Daily Value).
Notes/Results: Good! Cold and refreshing. You taste the sweet, fruity flavor of the watermelon and pineapple and then get the salty taste of the feta and the fresh herbal taste of the mint and cilantro. When reading the recipe, I kept thinking about pairing basil and mint together with the watermelon (as much as I love cilantro as the recipe asks for), so I tried it that way too. Both were good but I think I prefer the basil in the topping a bit more. I used some small sweet local watermelon and fresh pineapple. In fact, with the exception of the feta and sparkling water, the whole dish was made with fresh local ingredients. The watermelon rind cut in half and the flesh scooped out makes a fun soup bowl or a larger one would make a great a soup tureen, but the soup looks equally pretty in a small glass bowl, dessert dish or goblet. Pull this recipe out in the dead of summer when you can't bear to spend time cooking or turning on the oven.
Let's see who is in the Souper Sunday kitchen this week:
First up is Natashya at Living in the Kitchen with Puppies who treated her hard-working and dehydrated hubby to some Gazpacho after a long, hot afternoon of yard work. Using Ina Garten's recipe as a jumping off point, she spiced it up just the way she likes it. Natashya says "it came out delicious" and was "very refreshing indeed."
Ulrike from Küchenlatein is here with a delectable bright green Spinach Soup with Parmesan Crisps and Sour Cream. Ulrike adapted it from a vegetarian cookbook by Gabriele Kurz, a native-German chef living in Dubai. In addition to the baby spinach, this soup combines potatoes, garlic, cream, salt and pepper with a yummy garnish of some thick sour cream and crisp Parmesan cheese crisps.
Having green purslane growing in a pot along with a jalapeno chili plant gave Graziana at Erbe in Cucina the idea to combine these two ingredients into one delicious Hot Green Purslane Salad. Graizana made this one simple using just purslane leaves and green chilies (she says you can use any green chili pepper you like), and dressing the salad with olive oil, vinegar and salt. Fresh local cooking at it's best!
Welcome to Jamie from Life's a Feast, joining Souper Sunday for the first time, all the way from Nantes, France. Here with a Zucchini Carpaccio served with a Mozzarella Tomato Salad, that she says "is the ideal summer meal, light and cool, healthy and a snap to put together." Jamie says you can serve this delicious salad, "as is, with a bit of fresh bread if you like and a bottle of chilled white or rosé." Thanks for sharing it with us Jamie!
Kristen from Whatcha Eatin'? is back this week with her favorite easy sandwich to share, the Chicken Salad Wrap. Made even simpler with store bought rotisserie chicken and kept healthier with light mayo, the chicken salad is nestled in a wrap of your choice. Kristen says she "will make a bunch on a Sunday and have wraps ready for the week for lunches." Quick and delicious--what could be better for summer?!
A smaller turnout this week for Souper Sunday, but some very creative recipes that are perfect for summer. Thanks to everyone who participated. If you have a soup, salad or sandwich you want to share at Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays, click the logo on the side bar for all the details.
Have a great week!