Soup is good food. Especially in the summer, when the soup is cold.
Summer soup is different from winter soup. Winter soup is heavy, substantial, serious. It sticks to your ribs. But summer soup is light, frivolous, festive. It cools you down from the inside out. And if it is the right soup, it can even be a little bit sweet and no one will complain.
FARMERS MARKET GAZPACHO
Makes about 4 quarts
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1 quart tomato juice
1 quart chicken stock
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup red wine vinegar
6 medium tomatoes, diced
1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
1 medium sweet onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, diced
2 ribs celery, diced
1 zucchini, diced
1 green or red pepper, diced
½ bulb fennel, sliced thin, optional
2 tablespoons fresh basil or 1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, chopped, optional
½ avocado, sliced, for garnish, optional
Combine all ingredients except the optional avocado in a large bowl and refrigerate at least two hours. When serving, float optional avocado slices on top of each bowl.
— From Mary Anne Pikrone
COLD CORN VICHYSSOISE
Makes 4 servings
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon corn oil
1 medium onion, sliced (about 1¾ cups)
8 ounces potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
4 large ears corn, husked and kernels cut off (3½ cups)
1 teaspoon salt
2½ cups water
1½ cups half-and-half
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives or tarragon
1. Heat the butter and oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion and sauté for two minutes. Mix in the potatoes, corn kernels, salt and water and bring to a boil, then cover, reduce the heat to low, and boil gently for 20 minutes.
2. Use an immersion blender, food processor or blender to purée. For a soup with a smoother, finer texture, push it through a fine sieve set over a bowl. Stir in the half-and-half and chives or tarragon. Refrigerate until chilled before serving.
— From “Essential Pepin,” by Jacques Pepin
GINGER AND CARROT SOUP
Makes 8 servings
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 (2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 clove garlic, sliced
2 pounds carrots, sliced
6 cups vegetable broth
Juice of 1 lime, plus lime wedges for garnish, optional
1 cup plain yogurt (not nonfat)
Salt and pepper
1. Warm oil in a pot over medium heat. Add onion; sauté until softened, six to eight minutes. Add ginger and garlic; saute until fragrant, about one minute.
2. Raise heat to medium-high; stir in carrots. Pour broth into pot, cover and bring to a simmer. Remove cover, reduce heat to medium to maintain a simmer and cook until carrots are very tender, about 25 minutes. Remove soup from heat and let cool slightly.
3. Working in batches, purée soup in a blender until smooth. Transfer to a large bowl, cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least two hours.
4. Just before serving, stir in lime juice and yogurt. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve chilled, garnished with lime wedges if desired.
SUMMER FRUIT SOUP
Makes 8 servings
1 tablespoon minced ginger
3 cups chopped strawberries, divided
2 cups chopped pineapple, divided
1½ cups chopped mango, divided
2 pieces lemon peel
2 pieces lime peel
2 pieces orange peel
4 cups water
1½ cups sugar
¼ cup fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 cup blueberries
Mint sprigs, for garnish
1. Sauté the ginger in a medium pot over medium-high heat until fragrant, about two minutes (no oil is necessary). Add 2 cups strawberries, 1 cup pineapple, ¾ cup mango and the lemon, lime and orange peels; cook for another two minutes. Add water, sugar and fruit juices and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Simmer for five minutes and remove from heat.
2. Allow mixture to cool slightly and then transfer in batches to a blender or food processor. Purée and strain into a large bowl. Add remaining 1 cup chopped strawberries, 1 cup chopped pineapple, ¾ cup chopped mango and blueberries. Stir to combine, cover and refrigerate until well chilled. Serve with mint sprigs for garnish.
— From Emeril Lagasse, via Food Network