In the steamy swelter of summer, when the thought of turning on the oven is anathema, there are few things more refreshing than sweet, juicy watermelon and cool, crunchy cucumber—two plants that belong to the same botanical family. Riingo’s Johan Svensson combines them in an ingenious cold chile-spiked soup that gets even colder with the addition of ice cubes made from the soup itself.
Johan Svensson’s Chilled Watermelon-and-Cucumber Soup
1 small seedless watermelon, large enough to yield a pound of fruit
2 seedless cucumbers, peeled and chopped into one-inch pieces
½ clove garlic, minced
1 piri-piri chile, minced (remove seeds for a less spicy soup), available at Fairway
Juice of half a lemon
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and white pepper to taste
(1) Cut watermelon into large chunks and remove rind. (2) In a high-speed mixer, blender, or food processor, combine first six ingredients and blend until smooth. Season to taste. (3) Fill one ice-cube tray with soup and freeze for at least four hours. Chill remaining soup in fridge. When ready to serve, ladle into four bowls and add the frozen cubes. If desired, garnish with a slice of grilled melon or shrimp seviche.