Monday, June 19, 2006

Summer Cooking 101 Part III, Soup

Beautiful Soup: Gazpacho

Soup is not something that normally comes to mind in the summer. It's hot enough without hovering your face over a bowl of steaming food. Never fear, there are cool soups that are perfect for summer and simpler to make than you might think.

Give one of these a try the next time you need something cool to dine on.

Strawberry soup is more a dessert than anything else. Try a small cup for an appetizer as well.

Strawberry Soup
Printable Recipe

1 to 1 1/2 qts fresh strawberries cleaned and hulled
1 clove
1/2 cinnamon stick
1/4 c triple sec OR orange juice
1 c sugar
2 c heavy cream 1/2 liquid and 1/2 whipped

Combine strawberries, clove, cinnamon, sugar and liquor or juice in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes. Thicken if needed with cornstarch. Cool.

Once the strawberry mixture is cooled, remove the clove and cinnamon stick. Mash well or puree, if desired, some like this soup chunky and others prefer it smooth. Add the liquid cream and then fold in the whipped cream. Chill for several hours before serving.

Cold Melon Soup
Printable Recipe

2 ripe cantaloupes peeled, seeded and diced about 4 cups
1 small can (6-8 oz) apricot nectar
1/4 c honey
1 sachet (cheesecloth tied with string) containing 1/2 cinnamon stick and 3 slivers ginger) OR 1 tsp pumpkin pie or apple pie spice
2 c heavy cream -1/2 liquid and 1/2 whipped

In a large saucepan combine melon, apricot nectar, honey and spices. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes or until melon is very soft. Cool completely and puree (remove sachet first).

Add liquid cream and then fold in whipped cream. Chill for several hours before serving.

Iced Cucumber Soup
Printable Recipe

5 cucumbers-peeled, seeded and cut into 1" chunks
5 fresh mint leaves
2 c buttermilk
2 c chicken stock
1 T lime juice
1/2 t salt

Place cucumbers and mint leaves in blender or food
processor and whirl to a fine puree. Pour into a 2 qt
pitcher. Add buttermilk, chicken stock, lime juice, and
salt; mix well. Chill for at least 1 hour or until cold.

Another version of cucumber soup:

Chilled Dill Cucumber Soup
Printable Recipe

1 cup cold chicken or vegetable broth
3/4 lb. fresh cucumbers, not peeled, cut into chunks
3 sprigs fresh dill, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Put some of the broth into a blender, just enough to cover the blades.
Add cucumber and dill and blend until liquid. Add remaining broth, salt and pepper
and blend.
Serve sprinkled with additional chopped dill.


Chilled Vegetable Soup
Ready In: 30 minutes
Serves: 4
Printable Recipe

1 small cucumber
1 small zucchini
2 ribs celery
1/2 small Spanish onion
1/2 red pepper
1/2 green pepper
2 green onions - white and green parts
2 medium tomatoes - peeled, seeded and diced
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
2 cups vegetable stock or water
1 clove garlic
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 Tablespoon freshly snipped dill
1 Tablespoon fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
Extra vegetables and herbs for garnish

Peel, seed and cut all vegetables into very fine dice (first 8 ingredients). Toss together in a large bowl.
Stir together tomato paste and water or stock and add to veggies. Toss in all seasonings (last 6 ingredients) and stir until well combined. Chill overnight or for at least 4 hours so flavors will blend. Serve with reserved chopped veggies and herbs
on top.

Cool and Creamy Cucumber and Tomato Soup 
Ready in 15 minutes
Serves 4 as a starter
Printable Recipe

6 large or 8 medium ripe plum tomatoes - peeled and seeded
3 medium cucumbers - peeled and seeded
1 small bunch green onions - tops and whites
2 cloves garlic - minced
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup sour cream (I like Mexican crema for this)
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 Tablespoon freshly snipped dill plus more for garnish (or whichever herb you like)

Pop everything into a blender and puree until smooth. Chill for several hours if desired or serve as-is topped with extra herbs and sliced green onion.

This next soup is what Alice B. Toklas referred to as "Beautiful Soup". Also posted at A Thousand Soups.

Printable Recipe

2 large very ripe tomatoes concassè (peeled, seeded and diced)
1/2 onion diced
1/2 large green pepper diced
1/2 large red pepper diced
1/2 large yellow pepper diced
1 cucumber peeled, seeded and diced
1 clove garlic minced
2 T red wine vinegar
1 T lemon juice
1 T lime juice
2 c tomato juice
2 c consomme or beef stock (cold)

Puree all together until smooth. Add garnish (below) and chill for several hours. Serve topped with fried croutons if desired.


1 c tomato concassè (peeled, seeded, diced)
2 c peppers (green, red, yellow) diced
1 c peeled and seeded cucumber diced
1 c scallions sliced thin
1 T fresh dill minced
1 T fresh cilantro minced


Anonymous said...

Anne, do you think I could substitute light cream for the heavy cream in the fruit-based soups? I'd love to try one of the recipes, but I don't need all the fat (although I'm sure it would taste devine)!

Anne Coleman said...

I have a couple thoughts here.

Firstly, the thing that makes cream whip is the fat content-the lower you go the harder it is for it to keep it's shape once it's done.

So, you could sub the "whipped" part with fat free Cool Whip and use lighter cream for the liquid or just use all light cream and forgo the thicker texture.

I don't think you can really mess up those soups with a change in the fat content!

KFarmer said...

Thank goodness you posted something I can do with all the cukes I have been growing! I have just about ran out of ideas- Soup.. hummm.. hee hee hee..

Anne Coleman said...

Ahahaha! Iced Cucumber-Squirrel Soup!

Baking and Books said...

That strawberry soup sounds especially delicious. Hmmm....