Chilled Watermelon Soup with Chile and Lime

makes 6 servings

The last thing you want to do on a steamy day is turn on the burners in the kitchen. That’s where this chilled soup comes in. Watermelon is so refreshing and hydrating (not to mention it’s full of the outstanding antioxidant lycopene) that it’s the perfect summertime soup. I know at first glance that adding olive oil and jalapeños to the mix might seem strange, but you have to trust me on this: the oil makes the soup more satiating, while the jalapeño kick blends deliciously with the sweet of the watermelon. The mint provides an ideal high note; I make sure to put it in after everything else has blended, and I only hit the pulse button once or twice so the mint doesn’t lose its character. A little of this soup goes a long way. I like to serve it in jelly jars or fun glasses with a small garnish of watermelon rind. 

4 cups seeded watermelon chunks
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon lime zest
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1 teaspoon sea salt
10 ice cubes
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
6 sprigs fresh mint, for garnish

Put the watermelon, olive oil, jalapeño, honey, lime zest, lime juice, salt, and ice cubes in a blender and process until smooth. Add the chopped mint and blend just until combined. Serve in glasses, garnished with the mint sprigs. This soup tastes best the day it was made. 

cook’s note: The ice cubes will chill the soup, so it can be eaten immediately. However, if you want it super chilled, cover and refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.