I was fortunate enough to work with Simon Hopkinson for two years in the early ‘90s. This dish is a wonderful start to a meal on those sweltering hot Australian summer days. If you wish, embellish it with peeled prawns or some freshly pickled blue swimmer crab, bound in a little crème fraîche.


75 ml red wine vinegar

300 ml water 

1 cucumber, peeled and chopped

1 small red pepper, cored, deseeded and chopped

1 small green pepper, cored, deseeded and chopped

450 g very ripe, full-flavoured tomatoes, skinned and chopped or 200 ml passata (commercially made strained tomatoes)

2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped

1 small onion, chopped

8 drops of Tabasco sauce

2 mint sprigs, leaves only

1 tbsp tomato ketchup

salt and pepper

550 g ice

300 ml olive oil

For the garnish:

3 tbsp finely chopped mixed peppers, onion, tomato and cucumber

croutons made from two slices of white bread, cubed and fried in olive oil

8 mint leaves, chopped


Purée together all the soup ingredients, apart from half the olive oil. Pass through a coarse sieve, pressing down well on the vegetables. Stir in the reserved oil, just for consistency.

Pour into a chilled glass bowl, tip in the chopped vegetables and the croutons, sprinkle over the mint and serve.