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Published August 10, 2011, 12:00 AM

Halgrimson: Cold soups for summer’s heat

Cold soup isn’t always vichyssoise or gazpacho, and during the hot weather we’ve had this summer, I’ve been experimenting with other cold soups.

By: Andrea Hunter Halgrimson, INFORUM

Cold soup isn’t always vichyssoise or gazpacho, and during the hot weather we’ve had this summer, I’ve been experimenting with other cold soups.

Served with a pasta salad and some deviled eggs, cold soup completes a cool meal.

So I’ve been bopping around on the Internet, searching for recipes. My favorite is the Spiced Tomato Soup made with fresh tomatoes and a combination of Middle Eastern spices.

The other soups are all pureed, and this is easier to accomplish if the solid ingredients are taken out with a slotted spoon, whizzed in a processor or blender in batches and then turned into a bowl. Then pour in the liquid and stir to combine.

Our garden is full of fresh herbs, so when looking for recipes, I try to find those that use the garden’s bounty. I love cilantro, but if it doesn’t suit you, substitute parsley. Or use a bit of coriander which is the ground seed of the cilantro plant and has a milder flavor.

The following recipes are adapted from epicurious.com.

Spiced Tomato Soup

1 small onion, chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon sweet paprika

¼ teaspoon ground ginger

¼ teaspoon ground cumin

Scant ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1½ pounds, tomatoes peeled, cored and chopped

2 cups chicken broth

2 teaspoons honey

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice, or to taste

Garnish: lemon slices

Cook onion in oil with spices in a heavy pot over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened. Add tomatoes, broth, honey, 1 tablespoon parsley, and 1 tablespoon cilantro, then bring to a boil. Transfer soup to a metal bowl set in a larger bowl of ice and cold water. Cool soup, stirring occasionally, until cold, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Stir in remaining parsley and cilantro.

Beet Orange Soup

1 can (16 ounce) beets or 16 ounces cooked, fresh beets, diced

1½ cups orange juice

3 tablespoons lemon juice

1½ cups plain yogurt (reserve ½ cup for garnish)

Pinch of salt and pepper

3 tablespoons chopped chives to garnish

In a processor or blender, puree beets. Add orange and lemon juices, and 1 cup yogurt. Salt and pepper to taste. Chill two hours or more. To serve, top with a dollop of reserved yogurt and the chives.

Chilled Pea Soup

1 medium sweet onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon olive oil

3 cups frozen peas, thawed

2 cups chicken broth

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon snipped fresh dill

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

½ cup plain yogurt

In a large saucepan, sauté onion and garlic in oil until tender. Remove from heat. Stir in peas, broth, lemon juice, dill, salt and pepper. Process half of the mixture at a time until. Pour into a bowl, add yogurt, and combine using a wire whip. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Serves 4.

Cold Cantaloupe and Mint Soup

1¼ cups water

1 lime, zest removed

½ cup packed fresh mint leaves

¼ cup sugar

1 cantaloupe (about 2½ pounds), seeded, peeled and chopped

¾ cup chilled sweet Rhine wine

Garnish: fresh mint leaves

In a saucepan simmer water, zest, mint, and sugar, stirring occasionally. Remove pan from heat and let mixture stand 15 minutes. Pour mixture through a sieve into a bowl, pressing hard on solids, and discard solids. Cool syrup to room temperature.

Working in 2 batches, puree flesh in a processor or blender, adding enough syrup to obtain a smooth mixture. Transfer to a large bowl as melon is pureed. Stir in wine. Chill soup, covered, until cold, at least 2 hours, and up to 1 day. Skim any foam from top. Serve soup garnished with mint.