Enjoy a cool summer soup during the sunny season. The care and keeping of one’s appetite are important in the heat of a southern France summer, so many hosts use verrines (small glasses) to responsibly and adorably dose out light appetizers. You don’t need to buy specialty glassware to serve them—old shot or martini or sherry glasses will do. These can often be picked up for a song at your local resale shop or flea market. Read more about hosting in France.
Verrines d’Été Gazpacho Recipe
8 large basil leaves + 8 or more small ones for garnish
500 g/1 lb very fresh, ripe tomatoes, diced (use a lb of canned peeled potatoes, drained, if you can’t find good fresh ones)
3-4 green onions, or one very small white onion, diced
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
- Set aside a handful of diced cucumber, as well as the small (or shredded) basil leaves for your garnish.
- Put all remaining ingredients in a blender or food processor. Pulse until smooth enough to drink, tasting as you go and adding salt and pepper to taste.
- Pour into verrines and garnish with diced cucumbers and basil. Chill and serve very cold.
Makes 4-8 verrines, depending on size.
Cold Melon Soup with Prosciutto Recipe
2-3 slices prosciutto ham
1 honeydew melon
8 large basil leaves (more for garnish, if desired)
- Slice the prosciutto into thin ribbons for garnish. Set aside.
- Seed the melon and cut the flesh into rough cubes. Place these along with basil leaves in a blender or food processor. Pulse until you have a consistent soup with no large pieces of melon.
- Pour into verrines and garnish with ham ribbons. (If you are serving non-pork-eaters, you can use extra basil for this purpose.)
- Chill and serve very cold. Makes 8 verrines, minimum, depending on size of melon.
Summer Melon Gazpacho Recipe
1 cantaloupe melon, peeled and seeded
1 cup cucumber, peeled and chopped
½ cup onion, chopped
1 tbsp garlic, chopped
1 tbsp kosher salt
2 yellow tomatoes
1 cup ice cubes
1 cup fresh basil
- Combine all ingredients in blender on high speed until smooth.
- Drizzle in olive oil while pulsing until texture becomes creamy.
- Refrigerate immediately. Serve in chilled glass, garnish with fresh basil.