Chilled Tomato Soup with Melon

The flavor of this smooth tomato soup is reminiscent of gazpacho—until you get to the melon garnish, which takes its inspiration from Asia. It's a surprising and beautiful dish.

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  • Servings: 4

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  • 2 pounds tomatoes, coarsely chopped (see Note)
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 basil leaves, plus small sprigs, for garnish
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 European seedless cucumber, halved lengthwise
  • 1/2 small melon, such as cantaloupe or honeydew, plus a wedge of seedless watermelon

How to make this recipe

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the tomatoes with the olive oil, basil, garlic, vinegar and sugar. Season with salt and pepper. Cook over low heat until hot but not boiling, about 10 minutes. Pass the soup through the fine disk of a food mill into a medium bowl to remove the tomato seeds and skin. Chill the soup in the refrigerator or quick-chill it by setting the bowl in a larger bowl of ice water.

  2. Using a small melon baller, scoop a total of 20 balls from the cucumber and melons. Alternatively, cut the cucumber and melons into 1/2-inch dice. Pour the soup into bowls. Garnish with the melon and cucumber balls and the basil sprigs and serve.

Make Ahead

The tomato soup can be refrigerated for 1 day.


In winter, when most tomatoes are not very flavorful, plum tomatoes will still be good in this recipe.

Suggested Pairing

The tomatoes and cucumber in this soup suggest a bright Spanish Sauvignon Blanc blend.

Contributed By Photo © Maura McEvoy Published March 2001

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