Gazpacho seems to be the soup that most people associate with Spain. Indeed, it is very popular in the country, not only in the hot summer months, but throughout the year. However, it certainly isn't the only cold soup Spaniards love to dip into. For example, Spaniards love to get creative with their gazpacho, as you can see by the recipe calling for additional ingredients of watermelon and chilies. And another very popular branch on the Spanish soup tree is something locals call cremas -- cream soups. Here are recipes for three Spanish cold soups -- two of them cremas -- recently published by El Comidista (aka Mikel Lopez Iturriaga):
CHILLED TOMATO, WATERMELON AND CHILI PEPPER SOUP
1 kg of ripe tomatoes; 750 g of watermelon (best seedless); 2 or 3 red and/or green chilies; tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil; vinegar; salt; crumbled goat cheese (optional); chopped black and/or green olives (optional)
1. Chop the chilies.
2. Remove the seeds from the tomato by using a colander over a mixing bowl to capture the pulp and liquid. Push the pulp through the colander. Pick out the seeds that remain in the colander. Search through the pulp that passed into the mixing bowl to make sure no seeds made it through.
3. Mix the chopped chilies and strained tomatoes.
4. Add the watermelon, a tablespoon of olive oil, a few drops vinegar, a pinch of salt and mix.
5. Chill in fridge.
6. Sample to see if more salt and vinegar are needed, then serve. Garnish with crumbled goat cheese and/or olives and/or diced tomato. Perhaps even with a slice of watermelon on the side!
CHILLED SPINACH, PINE NUT AND YOGURT SOUP
400 g of spinach; 120 g pine nuts; 3 natural yogurts; 1/2 clove of garlic; 1 lemon; salt; olive oil (optional); pepper (optional)
1. Blanch the spinach for 1 minute in boiling (salted) water. Rinse with cold water and set aside on a colander. Save the water.
2. Toast the pine nuts in a skillet over low heat, being careful not to burn them.
3. Blend the spinach with the garlic and pine nuts, reserving a few nuts for garnish.
4. Add yogurt (and salt if you like) then blend. If it looks too thick, lighten it up a little by adding some of the water you blanched the spinach in.
5. Chill in fridge.
6. Before eating, salt to taste, and if you want a bit of tartness to it, add a little lemon juice. Serve with toasted pine nuts, adding a sprinkle of pepper and a drizzle of olive oil, if you like.
CHILLED AVOCADO, CORN AND LIME SOUP
2 avocados; 4 ears of boiled corn; 2 limes; 1 liter chicken stock; 2 tablespoons cilantro; butter or olive oil; salt; a few corn kernels (roasted optional)
1. Spread olive oil or butter over the ears of corn and roll in a hot pan until golden brown. Let cool.
2. Using a knife, remove the kernels of corn. Crush them together with the limes.
3. Peel the avocados and add them to the corn and lime mixture along with the chicken broth and cilantro. Salt and mix. For a finer texture, use a food mill.
4. Chill in fridge.
5. Salt to taste and serve. Garnishing possibilities include cilantro and (boiled and/or roasted) corn kernels.