After a day on the beach or being outdoors in the sun we love the taste of light yet flavourful food. We like it even better if we don’t need to retreat indoors for too long to prepare it and we find these duos a magical combination. Because truth be told, nothing can beat soups and salads on a warm summer night. Serve with bread or naan (Indian bread) and you’re good to go… To have that glass of wine in the garden, read a book or listen to our relaxing summer playlist: SPOTIFY SUMMER RELAXATION.
But before you get there, a little work needs to be done. Browse our 6 recipes for delicious summer evening meals.
The refreshing taste of this salad is all you need for a quick pick-me-up. The sweetness of the melon combined with the salty tomatoes and the sour dressing are an explosion on your taste buds. You’ll ask for second servings…
Ingredients serves 8/10
1,5 kg seedless watermelon cut up in pieces of 3 cm
0,75 kg ripe small tomatoes (preferably heirloom) in assorted colors, cored, cut into 3cm chunks
1 tsp coarse salt or salt flakes (more to taste)
2 1/2 tbs extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 tbs red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 tbs chopped assorted fresh herbs (dill, basil, and mint)
2 red onions
400 gram fresh rucola (arugula) leaves or watercress
150 grams crumbled feta cheese
70 grams sliced almonds, lightly toasted
Combine both the cut up melon melon and the tomatoes in a large bowl. Sprinkle with the salt flakes and toss to blend; let stand 15 minutes. Discard excessive fluid. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of oil, vinegar, and herbs to melon mixture. Season to taste with pepper and more salt, if desired.
Place the rucola in a medium bowl with remaining 1 tablespoon oil and toss. Place the rucola on the plates. Top with melon salad; sprinkle with feta cheese, red onion slices and toasted almonds and serve with our green summer soup. (see below)
Simply Sensational Summer Soup
This is so incredibly easy to make! Especially if you have a soup maker. If not, fall back on the old fashioned way of making it from scratch.
Ingredients serves 6
1 tbs butter or olive oil
1 small bunch of spring onions, chopped
3 courgettes, chopped
200g podded fresh or frozen peas
900ml hot vegetable stock
85g bag trimmed watercress
large handful of fresh mint
2 tbsp Greek yoghurt, plus extra for serving
Heat the butter or oil in a pan, add the spring onions and courgettes and stir well. Cover and cook for 3 mins, add the peas and stock and return to the boil. Let it simmer for another 5 minutes after which you remove it from the heat and stir in the watercress and mint until they are wilted. Place everything in a blender or food processor (half it if it is too much to process in one go) and add yoghurt with the second batch. Pour back into the pan, add seasoning to taste and drizzle a little extra yoghurt on top and optional the crispy pancetta. This soup is both hot or cold quite wonderful, but for summer it might be a nice touch to serve it chilled.
Spinach, Lentil & Roasted Vegetables Salad
Another wholesome salad that can double as a meal if you like. Rich, fresh, warm and healthy. Serve it with a French baguette or an Italian focaccia and choose one of the soups as a starter.
Ingredients serves 4
3-4 large handfuls of Spinach leaves
1 Large Bell Pepper
100 grams of Lentils
100 grams of black or red Quinoa
Small Handful of Pine Nuts
2 tbs of Goat Cheese
Small Handful of Dried Cranberries
Small Handful of Raw Sunflower Seeds
2 tbs Macadamia Nut Oil
2 tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1tbs of dried cranberries to taste
1 Fresh Lemon Salt
Pepper and Cayenne to taste
Preheat oven to 190C.
Cut up the squash and bell pepper. Put them in a baking tray and add pine. Sprinkle with oil. Bake for about 20 minutes or until visibly ready. In the meantime, add the lentils and quinoa to the boiling water and cook for 5 – 7 minutes. Drain and set aside. Warm up the goat cheese for just a minute in the oven. Place the spinach in a bowl and add all the other ingredients . Top with fresh lemon juice, red chopped onion, olive oil and spices.
Spicy Prawn Soup
This delicious soup takes only 10 minutes to make but tastes like it’s been simmering for hours. Rich flavours, crunchy, fresh yet creamy with a Thai touch. We love it…
Ingredients Serves 4
1 tbsp sunflower oil
300g bag crunchy stir-fry vegetables
140g shiitake mushrooms, sliced
2 tbsp Thai green curry paste
400g can reduced-fat coconut milk
200ml vegetable or fish stock
300g ready-to-wok noodles
200g bag large, raw prawns
Heat a wok, add the oil, then stir-fry the vegetables and mushrooms for 2-3 mins. Remove from pan and set aside, then tip the curry paste into the pan and fry for 1 min. Pour in the coconut milk and stock and mix thoroughly. Bring to the boil, drop in the noodles and prawns, then reduce the heat and simmer for 4 mins until the prawns are cooked through. Stir in the vegetables and simply serve.
Mango Avocado And Rucola salad
This combination is so fabulous that we wouldn’t mind having it on our plates every day and the vibrant colorful dish looks beautiful and can serve as a side dish or for lunch anytime.
Ingredients serves 4
1 mango, peeled and sliced
1 avocado, peeled and sliced
1 tbs lemon or lime juice
50 grams pecan halves or chopped walnuts, as desired
A big handful or two of baby arugula leaves, as desired
2 tbs unsweetened coconut flakes ( but this is optional)
Your favorite dressing to pass around or simply oil and lemon juice
Combine the mango with the avocado (toss the avocado gently with the lemon or lime juice first) on a serving platter or shallow bowl.
Add the pecans and arugula, and toss gently. Drizzle some olive oil and maybe some extra lemon juice and sprinkle with the coconut flakes and serve at once. If you like a little edge to this salad top it off with thinly sliced and chopped up red chili.
Spiced Carrot & Lentil Soup
This one you can make in advance and serve cold on a warm evening or warm if you prefer.The combination of the carrots and lentils fill you up pretty good yet it doesn’t weigh you down.
Ingredients serves 4
2 tsp cumin seeds
pinch chilli flakes
2 tbsp olive oil
600g carrots, washed and coarsely grated (no need to peel)
140g split red lentils
1l hot vegetable stock
plain yogurt and naan bread, to serve
Heat a large saucepan and add the cumin seeds and chilli flakes. Do not put any oil in the pan. Fry them for a minute or so or until they start to jump around the pan and release their aromas. Take out half of the seeds with a spoon and set aside. Add the oil, carrot, lentils, stock and milk to the pan and bring to the boil. Simmer for 15 mins until the lentils have swollen and softened. Whizz the soup with a stick blender or in a food processor until smooth. Season to taste.