Cold soup conjures thoughts of Gazpacho on Spanish menus, what’s spurred you to add this dish to the menu?
Actually a discussion with Mary about gin and cucumber. Naturally, at this time of year I’m looking for inspiration and attempting to make something refreshing. I like cold soup but we also didn’t want to call it consommé as we try our best to stay away from the classic French wording, although technically speaking that’s what it is.
How has a cold soup been received by diners?
This is very weather/temperature dependant. It holds its own with the other dishes unless it’s raining (which does happen a bit in the UK!)
The ingredients (cucumber, mint, watermelon, gin ice cream and caraway seeds) are almost akin to a summer cocktail – what is it about these ingredients that work so well together?
You are not far wrong, they are the flavours and botanicals that we linked with Hendricks Gin, which is what is used in the ice cream. As a gin ice cream is such a prominent flavour we had to look at the flavour pairings that were already there in the distillation. Mint, caraway, elderflower are all in there. The Hendricks website was very helpful with the botanicals.
Tell us about how you present and serve the soup
We serve all soup at the table as a little bit of show really and so people can appreciate the dry garnish. So the dry garnish and dish goes out to the table and then the front of house team pours the soup when everyone at the table has their dish. With the cucumber soup, the elderflowers rise up and float on the top, which is particularly pretty.