On a recent rip to Santa Fe, I was lucky enough to take a cooking class from the chef at Rancho Encantado Four Seasons Resort.  Chef Andrew showed us some simple chilled soups that are so adaptable and perfect for summer.  You could easily make this soup entirely from tomatoes if you preferred a more savory soup, but the watermelon adds such a nice touch of natural sweetness on a warm summer night.  He also used oils produced in Santa Fe from the Santa Fe Oil company.  I was of course inspired to order a few.  He used a blended  olive oil in the the soup (half olive oil, half canola) and a good mixer, like a Vitamix offers the best consistency an viscosity for this blended soup.  It has such an incredibly vibrant color.  It’s a wonderful, seasonal soup and perfect for summer when tomatoes and watermelon are in peak season.

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups ripest cherry, san Marzano tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1 large red bell pepper, seeded, cut in chunks
  • 1/2 medium shallot
  • 2 small garlic cloves
  • 3 oz white balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar for less sweetness
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder (optional)
  • 12 ounces olive oil blend or light olive oil
  • chili oil, drizzled for garnish (optional for heat)
  • avocado crema, dolloped for garnish (avocado blended with a bit of sour cream or yogurt, salt)
  • reduced balsamic vinegar, drizzled for garnish

Directions:

Place all the ingredients (except oil) in the blender and process on low until pureed into a smooth consistency.  Slowly pour in oil with motor running to emulsify soup.  Adjust seasonings to taste.  Refrigerate soup until well chilled (at least an hour).  Divide soup in bowls.  Mash half of an avocado with a fork until smooth, and add a tablespoon of yogurt or sour cream with a bit of salt.  Dot your soup with the crema and drizzle with balsamic vinegar and chili oil for garnish.  Serve and enjoy!