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Cool Soups for Hot Days

Overview

Published: 09/19/2012

by Roslyn Ralph

No one likes to have to turn on the stove on those hot summer days, so anything that helps cooks keep cool is a welcome relief.

Adding cold soups to a summer meal takes little preparation time, plus there's no cooking required. Accompanying grilled meat or fish, cold soup really rounds out an alfresco dinner. The other great thing about these soups is that they are low in fat.

The trick is to remember to prepare the soup well in advance to allow it time to properly chill. In other words, these soups are easy to make but are not a last-minute option.

Here are three cold soups that are sure to please.

Gazpacho

This is perhaps the most well-known and popular cold soup. There are many variations on gazpacho but the one we offer is simple, fast and has just the right amount of heat. Our recipe uses canned tomatoes but when ripe local ones are available you can easily substitute. Serves 4.

Ingredients

1  large can tomatoes (796 fl. oz.)
1/2  onion, chopped
1  large roasted red pepper (available in jars)
1  cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
3  garlic cloves, chopped
2 Tbsp.  olive oil
2 Tbsp.  red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp.  Tabasco, or to taste
salt and pepper to taste

Garnish

1/2 cup  croutons
1/2 cup  diced seeded fresh tomato
1/2 cup  diced cucumber
1/2 cup  diced pepper
1/2 cup   diced onion

Directions

Place tomatoes, pepper, onion, garlic, cucumber, oil and vinegar in a blender and process until smooth. Transfer to bowl. Add Tabasco and salt and pepper to taste and stir. Cover and refrigerate for several hours until chilled. Check the seasoning before serving and serve in well-chilled bowls or cups. Add garnishes to taste.

Cucumber and Mint Soup

This soup is light and very refreshing. Serves 4.

Ingredients

3  large cucumbers, peeled, seeded and diced
1 cup  plain low-fat yogourt
2/3 cup  light sour cream
1/2 tsp.  dry mustard
1/4 cup  chopped fresh mint leaves
salt and pepper to taste

 Garnish

thin slices of cucumber
sprigs of fresh mint.

Directions

In a blender, combine cucumber, yogourt, sour cream, mustard and mint and blend until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to bowl, cover and chill for several hours. Check seasoning before serving and serve in well-chilled bowls or cups. Garnish with cucumber slices and a sprig of mint.

Strawberry Soup

Fruit soups are popular in Europe. They can be served as a starter or even as a dessert. This is an interesting way to make use of wonderfully fresh strawberries as they come into season. Home Digest's version of Strawberry Soup leaves out the whipped cream that some recipes call for. Serves 4.

Ingredients

2 pints strawberries, hulled, washed and chopped
2 cups  plain yogourt
1/2 cup  buttermilk
1/4 cup  orange juice
1/4 cu  sugar
1/8 tsp.  ground cardamom

Garnish

sliced strawberries
strawberry couli (recipe below)
plain yogourt

Directions

In a blender, combine all ingredients and process until smooth. Transfer to a bowl, cover and chill for several hours. Serve in well-chilled bowls. Garnish with strawberry slices and a drizzle of coulis and yogourt.

Strawberry couli

This simple garnish has many uses. Keep it around as an addition to desserts.

Ingredients

2 cups  washed, hulled strawberries cut in quarters
1/4 cup  water
2 Tbsp.  sugar
2 tsp.  lemon juice

Directions

Combine strawberries, water, 2 tablespoons sugar and lemon juice in blender. Purée until smooth. Strain and cover. Refrigerate until cold, at least two hours.

 

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