But, it is too hot to cook

February 26, 2012

Food, Recipes

How about delicious cold soups to cool you down and inspire your palate?

by Joanne Henning Tedesco — 

By end of summer, most of us are tired of salads and grilled food, and it is just too hot and humid to cook. And since our slow-cookers might not come out of hiding for a few weeks yet, what can we fix for dinner?

How about cold soups to cool you down and inspire your palate? These can be made ahead or at the last minute, and work well as elegant and delicious starter courses.

Check out your local farmers’ market or the organic produce section of your favorite market where you will find a wide variety of fruits and vegetables with which to make these delicious cold soups. Below are some recipes to get you started.

Pretty Peach Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries, thawed
  • 3 cups fresh or frozen peaches, thawed
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 cup peach nectar
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup sugar (if fruit is too tart)
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract

Instructions:

Place raspberries in a blender; cover and process until smooth. Strain and discard seeds. Cover and refrigerate purée. Place peaches and lemon juice in the blender; cover and process until smooth. Transfer to a bowl; stir in nectar, yogurt, sugar (if needed) and almond extract. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours. To garnish, drizzle 1 tablespoon raspberry purée in a 3-inch circle on top of each serving. Use a toothpick to draw six lines toward the center of circle, forming a flower. Serves 4.

Cold Russian Borscht

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium beets
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 cup sour cream

Instructions:

Remove stems and leaves from beets. Do not remove skins. In a deep pot, cover beets with cold water and bring to a boil — until fork-tender — about 40 minutes. Drain beets, but reserve two cups of the liquid. Strain the liquid and add to a large saucepan. Remove skin from beets. Grate beets through coarsest blade of grater. Add to beet liquid. Add beef broth, onion, salt, pepper and vinegar. Bring to a boil; then cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 20 minutes; then remove from heat. Chill in refrigerator for one hour or until cold, before serving. Ladle into bowls and top each serving with cucumber and a big spoonful of sour cream. Serves 6.

Honeydew Soup

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups cubed honeydew
  • 1/2 cup white grape juice
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

Instructions:

In a blender, combine all ingredients; cover and process until smooth. Transfer to a bowl. Cover and refrigerate until chilled. Serves 3.

Cold Pea Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 cups frozen baby peas, thawed
  • 10 oz. can ready-to-use chicken broth
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1 lettuce leaf, torn into pieces
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper

Instructions:

Combine all ingredients in food processor or blender; cover and process or blend until smooth. Chill thoroughly before serving. Sprinkle a little more fresh mint on each serving. Serves 4.

Zucchini and Avocado Soup with Cucumber Salsa

Ingredients

  • 3 cups chopped zucchini (about 2 medium)
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions, divided
  • 1 (14-ounce) can vegetable broth
  • 1-1/4 cups diced, seeded, peeled cucumber (about 1 large)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 3/4 cup diced peeled avocado (1 medium)
  • 3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

Instructions:

Combine zucchini, 1/4 cup green onions and broth in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 5 to 7 minutes or until zucchini is tender. Remove from heat; cool 30 minutes. While cooling, combine remaining 1/4 cup green onions, cucumber, cilantro, 1 tablespoon lime juice and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a small bowl; toss well. Cover and chill. Place remaining 2 tablespoons lime juice and 1/4 teaspoon salt, zucchini mixture, avocado, buttermilk and cumin in a blender; process until smooth. Cover and chill at least 2 hours. Pour soup into bowls, and top with cucumber salsa. Serve chilled. Serves 4.

 

Sources: www.allrecipescom, www.myrecipes.com and Joanne’s recipe box.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 29, Number 4, Aug/Sept 2010.

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