Chill out with summer soups

There is no need to turn on the stove and heat up your house when there is an abundance of healthy and cool summer soups from which to choose.

by Stan Kalson — 

It is late summer, and the living is easy. There is no need to turn on the stove and heat up your house when there is an abundance of healthy and cool summer soups from which to choose.

Cold soups are nutritious, easy to prepare, and a wonderful outlet for garden fresh vegetables and fruits. They require low or no heat, can be prepared in a blender or food processor, made ahead of time and served later with a favorite salad or bread.

Below are some hints that will be helpful for creating delicious cold soups.

  • Pre-chill all ingredients, including the canned items. Do not add ice to a cold soup, as it will dilute the flavors and reduce the nutritional content.
  • Make chilled soups either coarse, with lots of chunky, lightly cooked vegetables, or finely blend your ingredients for a creamier soup.
  • Chilled soups need extra spices to punch up the flavor. By allowing them to sit for a few hours before serving, the spices become more intense. Chill from 2 to 8 hours before serving. Check the soup’s thickness as it might need thinning after sitting in the refrigerator.
  • Garnishes are always a great way to increase the eye appeal of cold soups. Some favorite garnishes are corn chips, grated cheese, and vegetables cut in different shapes and sizes.

The following recipes will help you create nutritious cold soups.

 Spicy Mango Ginger Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 large ripe mango, peeled and destoned
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cold, purified water
  • 1 to 2 small chili peppers, minced (to taste)
  • juice of one lime
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated or minced fresh ginger

Instructions:

Process all ingredients together in a blender until smooth and creamy. Add a bit more water, if needed, to acquire the perfect consistency. Chill. Serve with your favorite cookies.

Tomato and Avocado Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe tomato, peeled and quartered
  • 2 large avocados, peeled, pitted and sliced
  • 1 small onion, quartered
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon or lime juice
  • 1 quart tomato juice
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  •  salt and pepper, to taste, or use vegetable broth seasonings
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
  • cayenne pepper, to taste

Instructions:

Place peeled tomato, avocados, onion, green bell pepper, and lemon or lime juice into a food processor and blend until smooth. Pour in 1 cup tomato juice and process. Transfer mixture to a large bowl, and mix in remaining tomato juice and yogurt. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Chill for 2 to 4 hours. Garnish with dabs of yogurt, chives and a dash of cayenne.

Cold Roasted Tomato Soup

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds Roma (plum) tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 quart chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • sea salt and ground pepper, to taste

Instructions:

Place tomato halves, cut side up, on a baking tray with the garlic cloves. Brush olive oil over tomatoes and garlic. Season with salt/pepper. Roast at 375 degrees for 1 hour. Remove tomato skins after roasting. Cut off the ends of garlic and squeeze contents of roasted garlic into processor, along with the entire contents of the baking tray. Add stock, basil and vinegar. Blend until smooth. Season to taste. Serve either hot or cold.

Peach and Ginger Soup

Ingredients:

  • 3-1/2 pounds fresh ripe peaches, peeled, pitted and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger (use fresh, if available)
  • 1-1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons rum or rum-flavored extract
  • mint sprigs for garnish

Instructions:

Puree the peaches and ginger in a processor or blender. Stir in cream and rum. Serve cold.

 

Stan Kalson is the founder and director of the International Holistic Center, Inc., and has been active in the Phoenix community for 30 years. 602-266-1160.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 27, Number 4, August/September 2008.

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