Thursday, July 28, 2011

Cooling Chilled Soups (and Robert's Blueberry Blast)

A cold soup on a hot day can revive even the most wilted diner. When it's too hot to cook, pair the carrot, mango or cucumber soups with fresh tomato/feta/basil salad and some crusty bread or crackers.  The berry soup or blueberry blast make great hot-weather desserts!

Cold Carrot Honey Soup 
I served this as a first course for my niece Alison's wedding shower a few years ago.  It now makes a regular appearance at our table at least a few times during the summer. 
1 lb carrots scraped & chopped in a 1/2 inch dice
1 med. onion, chopped in a 1/2 inch dice
1/4 tsp. each: ground cumin, coriander & paprika
1/8 tsp. cayenne
1 cup vegetable broth
3 cups water
1 TBSP lemon juice
2 TBSP summer honey
Place ingredients in saucepan & simmer until carrots are soft.  Cool.  Blend until smooth & chill for a few hours before serving.  Nice garnish options (and or all):  a dollop of Greek yogurt, a drizzle of honey, a pinch of lemon zest.  Makes 4 cups.  

Cold Curried Mango Soup
This makes a gorgeous, bright yellow soup with just the slightest hint of spicy heat.  You can ramp up the spiciness a bit by adding more curry (or a dash of cayenne pepper). 
1 large mango, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup Greek yogurt (or regular yogurt--low fat is fine)
1 1/2 cups skim milk 
2 tablespoons summer honey
1 teaspoon curry powder (or to taste)
Pinch of salt to taste.
Place the ingredients in a blender (or use an immersion blender) and blend until smooth.  Chill for at least two hours.  Makes about 3 cups. 

Chilled Cucumber-Yogurt Soup
This recipe is adapted from Mollie Katzen's classic Moosewood Cookbook (rev. edition).  It's one of the few vegetarian cookbooks I own that I still use frequently.  Her recipes are simple and nearly all of them result in great tasting dishes. This is one of the most refreshing cold soups you can make!
4 cups peeled, seeded and grated cucumber
2 cups water
2 cups yogurt
salt to taste
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon freshly minced dill
2 tablespoons honey
Garnish with chopped mint and chives
Combine all of the ingredients and stir until well-blended.  Chill until very cold--at least a few hours.  Makes 6 cups.

Chilled Berry Soup
Another great chilled soup recipe from the Moosewood Cookbook. It's like dessert in a soup bowl!
3 cups orange juice
1-2 tablespoons fresh lemon or lime juice
3 cups buttermilk (can use yogurt instead)
2 tablespoons summer honey
2-3 cups of berries:  strawberries (should be sliced), raspberries, blackberries and/or blueberries
Dash of cinnamon
Place juices, buttermilk (or yogurt) and honey in a blender and blend well.  Add 1/2 cup of berries to blender and blend until smooth.  Cover and chill until very cold.  Place remaining berries in bowls (about 1/2 cup in each bowl) and pour soup on top.  Dust with cinnamon.  Makes about 6 cups.

Robert's Blueberry Blast 
We must have about 40 cups of blueberries stashed in our freezer right now. They won't be there long, though, because we're making these blasts almost every day.  I'm an ice cream junkie and these taste just like milkshakes to me!
1/2 cup nonfat milk
1/2 cup nonfat yogurt
1 cup frozen blueberries (you could use frozen strawberries, peaches, or raspberries)
1-2 tablespoons honey
Blend all in a blender and pour in a glass.  Makes about 1 1/2 cups.  

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