Summer has definitely arrived. Even in the normally temperate San Francisco Bay Area, elevated temperatures and a dash of unexpected humidity have sent plenty of people in my Twitter stream into lamentations about how sticky it is outside. When the heat gets to be too much, it helps to have some refreshing recipes to turn to. Chilled soups, for example, can be a great way to feed your family (and get a solid dose of vegetables or fruits) without breaking a sweat.
I purchase cucumbers that are firm (rather than pliable), plump, unblemished (no yellowing or soft spots), and heavy for their size. I prefer the relatively small Middle Eastern and Lemon varieties, as I have found their skin and seeds are rarely bitter; if you purchase a common cucumber, you will likely need to peel and seed it before using.
Debi Shawcross of Table Talk featured an elegant chilled artichoke soup that can be prepared a day ahead. She served it between courses at a dinner party, and said it provided a bright, lemony burst on the palate.
Rivka Friedman of Not Derby Pie whipped up a Chilled Leek and Pea Soup With Mint designed to help beat the stickiest summer day.
Here's a soup I've recently fallen in love with. It's been making its way around my neighborhood, and every cook has made her own changes. Shockingly, I'm no exception. I topped my bowl with a bit of lebne (or labaneh, a tangy cross between yogurt and sour cream) instead of creme fraiche, and garnished with mint instead of chives. I also adjusted the proportions a bit. Feel free to carry on the tradition, and change it to suit your preferences (or the contents of your fridge).
Susan of The Well-Seasoned Cook decided to fight heat with heat by incorporating habañero chilies into her chilled red pepper soup. It's a dish that comes with a warning:
I'm not going to lie to you. Even this level of heat has enough cumulative kick to smoke your sinuses, enough so that you will no longer feel those wretched summer temperatures suffocating you. Which just goes to prove that that other theory is correct, too. This recipe will have you blowing hot and cold.
Here are some more chilled soup ideas to try as the weather heats up:
- Chilled Eggplant Soup from Cathy Erway of Not Eating Out in New York
- Cold Black Bean Soup from Olga Berman of Mango & Tomato
- Chilled Corn Soup from Amy Sherman of Cooking With Amy
- Chilled Asparagus Soup from Lydia Walshin of The Perfect Pantry
- Chilled Ginger Cantaloupe Soup from Nicole Hamaker of Pinch My Salt
What chilled soups are on your list to make this summer? Share your ideas in the comments.
Photo by BitBoy, shared under an Attribution 2.0 Generic Creative Commons License.
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